Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ:CENT) (NASDAQ:CENTA), a leading innovator, marketer and producer of quality branded products for the lawn and garden and pet supplies markets, today announced financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended December 24, 2011.
The Company reported first quarter net sales of $302.1 million, a 7 percent increase over the comparable period a year ago. Net sales increased in both its Garden Products and Pet Products segments by 8 and 7 percent, respectively. The first quarter operating loss was $11.3 million compared to an operating loss of $6.5 million in the first quarter of 2011, primarily reflecting the continuing impact of higher grain and other raw material costs as well as a change in product mix. The net loss for the quarter was $13.1 million, or $0.27 per fully diluted share, compared with a loss of $9.6 million, or $0.16 per fully diluted share, in the year-ago period. Typically, the Company has reported a loss in its fiscal first quarter given the seasonal nature of the lawn and garden category.
“We continued to drive solid revenue growth this quarter, with gains in both our Garden and Pet businesses,” said Bill Brown, Chairman and CEO. “As expected, it was a challenging quarter, as raw material costs remained high and the mix of sales favored lower-margin products which impacted our bottom line results. We are dually focused on managing our operations in this challenging economic environment, while moving forward with the transformation of Central into an integrated, multi-brand company. We believe our strong portfolio of products and talented employee base will be keys in achieving our goal of sustainable long-term growth and improved profitability.”
Gus Halas, President and CEO of Central Operating Companies, commented, “We are progressing on our planned actions to significantly improve our execution and reduce costs across the organization while positioning our sales and marketing teams for continued success in growing revenues. We remain as committed as ever to exceeding our customers’ expectations, providing consumers with innovative product solutions, and benefitting our shareholders by increasing our efficiency and profitability.”