UniFirst Announces Financial Results For The Fourth Quarter And Full Year Fiscal 2012

UniFirst Corporation (NYSE: UNF) today announced results for its fiscal 2012 fourth quarter and full year ended August 25, 2012. Fourth quarter revenues were $312.4 million, up 7.4% from $290.9 million in the year ago period. Net income for the quarter was $22.5 million ($1.13 per diluted share), up 25.1% compared to $18.0 million ($0.90 per diluted share) reported in the year ago period.

Full year revenues were $1.256 billion, up 10.8% from $1.134 billion in fiscal 2011. Net income per diluted share for the full year was $4.76 compared to $3.85 in the same period a year ago. Full year results include the positive effect of a settlement related to environmental litigation which resulted in a $6.7 million pre-tax gain in the third quarter. The gain was recorded as a reduction of selling and administrative expenses. Net income per diluted share for the full year, adjusted to eliminate the gain, was $4.55, up 18.2% from the $3.85 in the same period a year ago.

Ronald D. Croatti, UniFirst President and Chief Executive Officer said, “Despite the continued worldwide economic volatility, we are very pleased with the efforts of our thousands of employees which helped us achieve double digit percentage growth in both revenues and profits in fiscal 2012. This impressive feat was accomplished while continuing to provide industry leading products and services to our diverse customer base.”

Fourth quarter revenues in the Core Laundry Operations were $281.7 million, up 8.6% from those reported in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Excluding the effects of acquisitions and a slightly weaker Canadian dollar, revenues grew 8.9%. This segment’s income from operations increased 34.4% quarter to quarter. The operating margin expanded to 12.3% from 9.9% a year earlier. Increased profitability resulted from improved operating leverage that came with the strong revenue growth. Expenses related to plant operations, depreciation and overall selling and administrative outlays were all lower as a percentage of revenue compared to the prior year. Energy costs also were lower in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago due to lower average costs of fuel and natural gas. This segment’s quarterly results also benefited from a reduction in reserves for worker’s compensation and other insurance related liabilities of approximately $1.9 million due to changes in third-party actuarial estimates. These positive comparisons were partially offset by higher merchandise amortization expense.

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