Central Garden & Pet Company Announces Fiscal 2013 First Quarter Results

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 29, 2012.

The Company reported first quarter net sales of $292.5 million, a 3 percent decrease over the comparable period a year ago. Net sales decreased in both its Garden and Pet segments. The first quarter operating loss was $13.1 million compared to an operating loss of $11.3 million in the first quarter of 2012, primarily reflecting lower sales and gross margins. The net loss for the quarter was $15.3 million, or $0.32 per fully diluted share, compared with a loss of $13.1 million, or $0.27 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.

“As we expected, our first quarter results were lower than the prior year,” said Gus Halas, President & CEO of the Central Operating Companies. “Despite lower Garden revenues in our seasonally smaller first quarter, we are excited about the new innovations we are bringing to market and expect more favorable results for our upcoming Garden season, which encompasses our next two quarters.”

Halas continued, “We continue to focus on our transformation to an integrated multi-brand consumer products company. We expect to make significant progress over the next few years as we aggressively build our brands, lower our costs, and drive meaningful revenue and profit growth.”

First Quarter 2013 Details

Both the Garden and Pet segment sales declined during the quarter. Net sales for the Garden segment decreased 5 percent or $5.5 million over the same period a year ago to $97.3 million, in part due to lower seasonal décor revenues. The Garden segment’s branded product sales were $85.3 million and sales of other manufacturers’ products were $12.0 million. Historically, first quarter revenues for the Garden segment have been the lowest of any quarter of the year due to the seasonality of the lawn and garden market. In the first quarter, the Garden segment’s operating margin improved 200 basis points, in part due to improvements in its grass seed and pottery businesses. The Garden segment’s operating loss in the quarter was $8.5 million, compared to an operating loss of $11.1 million in the first quarter of 2012.

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