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 reported financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended June 23, 2012.
The Company reported third quarter net sales of $533.8 million, an increase of 10 percent from the same period a year ago. Third quarter operating income was $49.0 million, compared to operating income of $36.6 million in the third quarter of 2011, a 34 percent increase. The increase in operating income reflected higher sales and a favorable product mix, which resulted in both higher gross margins and higher operating margins. Net interest expense was $10.7 million compared to $9.8 million in the year-ago period. Net income totaled $22.7 million, or $0.47 per fully diluted share, compared with net income of $17.1 million, or $0.31 per fully diluted share, in the third quarter of 2011.
“We are pleased with our third quarter revenue growth and bottom line results. We now have generated top-line growth in six of the last seven quarters,” said Gus Halas, President and CEO of Central Operating Companies. “Our Pet segment performed well during the quarter, benefitting from expanded distribution, product innovation and favorable weather for pest control products. Additionally, this quarter’s results also reflect the shipment of backlogged orders from the prior quarter. We believe our revenue growth underscores that our increased marketing investments and master brands strategy are yielding tangible results and helping build a solid base for sustained growth in the years ahead.” Mr. Halas added, “The transformation we began over a year ago is progressing as planned, but is by no means complete. As we move forward, we are continuing to focus on becoming more efficient and more integrated, enabling us to better meet the needs of our customers while raising the visibility of our products to consumers.”