UniFirst Corporation (NYSE: UNF) today announced results for its fourth fiscal quarter ended August 31, 2013. Revenues were $352.9 million, up 13.0% from $312.4 million in the year ago period. Net income was $30.6 million ($1.52 per diluted share), compared to $22.5 million ($1.13 per diluted share) reported in the year ago period.
The fourth quarter as well as the full fiscal year included an extra week of operations compared to fiscal 2012 as fiscal 2013 was a 53 week year for the Company. The extra week in fiscal 2013 accounted for revenue growth of approximately 8.1% and 2.0% compared to the fourth quarter and full year of fiscal 2012, respectively.
Full year revenues were $1.356 billion, up 7.9% from $1.256 billion in fiscal 2012. Net income per diluted share for the full year was $5.81 compared to $4.76 in the same period a year ago. Full year results in fiscal 2012 included an environmental litigation settlement which resulted in a $6.7 million pre-tax gain in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. The gain was recorded as a reduction of selling and administrative expenses. Diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2012 adjusted to eliminate the effect of the gain were $4.55. Fiscal 2013 diluted earnings per share increased 27.7% compared to the adjusted earnings from a year ago.
Ronald D. Croatti, UniFirst President and Chief Executive Officer said, “We are very pleased with our results for the quarter and the full fiscal year which saw the company once again reach new heights for revenues and profits. Our success continues to be the result of the teamwork and execution by our thousands of employees who provide what we believe are industry leading products and service.”
Fourth quarter revenues in the Core Laundry Operations were $320.4 million, up 13.8% from those reported in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Excluding the impact of the extra week of operations, acquisitions and a slightly weaker Canadian dollar, revenues grew 5.3%. Operating margin in the Core Laundry Operations for the quarter was 14.2% compared to 12.3% a year ago. This increase in the quarterly operating margin was primarily the result of lower merchandise amortization, plant labor and bad debt expense as a percentage of revenues compared to the prior year. These favorable comparisons were partially offset by higher health care claims and other payroll related costs as a percentage of revenues.