Net sales of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage in fiscal 2021 exceeded the company’s record sales just a year ago, Co-Chairman Kemper Isely announced Thursday.
Natural Grocers, based in Lakewood, Colo., Reported net sales of $ 1.06 billion for the fiscal year ended September 30, an increase of 1.8% from fiscal 2020 , when the company first crossed $ 1 billion. Net sales for fiscal 2021 are 16.8% higher than net sales for fiscal 2019.
This is the 18th consecutive year of positive comparable store sales growth for Natural Grocers, the company said.
“Our commitment to our founding principles continues to drive our success, as evidenced by our strong results. We have seen an increase in customer engagement and loyalty,” Isely told investors on the results conference call. of the afternoon. “We believe that our carefully vetted offerings of natural and organic products, at consistently affordable prices, continue to resonate with consumers as they have developed a strong appreciation for the value of healthy nutrition and dietary supplements as a result. of the pandemic. “
The company has seen an increase in customer engagement and loyalty, Isely said. Membership in its loyalty program, Npower, has grown to 1.5 million customers, up from 1 million in FY19. Those customers accounted for 72% of fourth-quarter sales, up from 68% a year ago, he said.
Private label products, which Isely described as a key differentiator, are an engine of sales growth, he said. They now represent 7.1% of Natural Grocers sales. The company introduced 185 new SKUs in fiscal 2021, for a total of approximately 1,000 SKUs at year end. The company relaunched its private label supplements earlier this year.
“The growth of our branded supplements outpaced category growth in the fourth quarter, demonstrating customer interest in our high quality and affordable offerings,” said Isely.
Sales of supplements are up 10% from a year ago, CFO Todd Dissinger said, and 20% from fiscal 2019.
Fourth Quarter Comparison
Customers are making more trips to stores than a year ago, Dissinger said, but the basket size has decreased only slightly: traffic has increased by 3.4% and the basket size has decreased by 0.8% compared to Q4 2020. Basket size is still 20% larger than this. was in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, he said.
The company saw fewer products out of stock in the fourth quarter than a year ago, but the rate was still higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q4 2021 compares favorably to Q4 2020:
- Net sales increased 3.2% to $ 272.6 million from $ 264.2 million.
- Average daily comparable store sales increased 2.5% and 15.7% on a two-year cumulative basis.
- Net income increased 93.3% to $ 7.2 million; this is an increase of 342.2% compared to the same period of FY19.
- Gross margin increased to 27.8% from 27.4% a year ago.
- Diluted earnings per share were $ 0.32, up from $ 0.16 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020.
- Adjusted EBITDA was $ 17.8 million, compared to $ 13.6 million in the fourth quarter of last year. EBITDA has been adjusted to exclude dividend payments, and Q4 2020 has been restated to reflect this change.
- EBITDA increased 30.8% to $ 16.5 million compared to $ 12.6 million for the same period a year ago.
- EBITDA as a percentage of net sales was 6.1% for the fourth quarter of 2021 and 4.8% for the fourth quarter of 2020.
The company opened a store in the fourth quarter in Springfield, Missouri. She also moved a store to Columbia, Missouri, and remodeled a floor in Wichita, Kan.
The company also announced a fourth quarter dividend of $ 0.10 per share, an increase from $ 0.07 per share, which was the dividend since the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. The dividend will be paid on the 15th. December to shareholders of record at the close. business on November 29.
“The dividend increase reflects our strong operating performance and financial condition, our confidence in our business model and our commitment to delivering value to our shareholders,” said Isely.
Fiscal year 2021 compared to fiscal year 20
In the past year, the company saw its gross margin improve due to improved product margin, decreased shrinkage and reduced expenses from occupation, Natural Grocers reported. Year-end financial details included:
- Net sales increased 1.8% to $ 1.1 billion.
- Average daily comparable store sales increased 0.7% and 12.7% on a two-year cumulative basis.
- Net income was $ 20.6 million, with diluted earnings per share of $ 0.91, up from $ 0.89 for fiscal 2020.
- The gross margin for FY21 was 27.7%, compared to 27.3% for FY20.
- Adjusted EBITDA was $ 60.3 million, compared to Restated Adjusted EBITDA of $ 60.7 million for fiscal 2020, to reflect the exclusion of dividend payments.
- EBITDA decreased 1.7% to $ 58.0 million for fiscal 2021, from $ 58.9 million for fiscal 2020.
- EBITDA as a percentage of net sales was 5.5% for FY21 and 5.7% for FY20.
- Adjusted EBITDA decreased 0.6% to $ 60.3 million for fiscal 2021, compared to $ 60.7 million for fiscal 2021.
- Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net sales was 5.7% and 5.9% for the years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
For the year, Natural Grocers opened three new stores and relocated or renovated five stores. It ended the year with 162 stores in 20 states; he signed leases or acquired properties for four additional stores. It plans to open four to six stores in fiscal year 2022 and to move or renovate three or four more.
Natural Grocers expects COVID-19 to continue to affect the economy in fiscal 2022. It expects same-store sales to vary from stable growth to 2.0%, and profit diluted per share will fall between $ 0.75 and $ 0.87.
This article originally appeared on New Hope Network, a sister website of Supermarket News.