Hain Celestial Group reports record net earnings of US$24.1M in fiscal Q3, up 43.5% from year-ago period as net sales rise 31.5% to US$379.4M

MELVILLE, New York , May 3, 2012 (press release) – The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN), a leading natural and organic products company providing consumers with A Healthy Way of Life™, today reported record results for the third quarter ended March 31, 2012.

Record Performance Highlights

* Record net sales up 31.5% over the comparable period in fiscal year 2011
* Record GAAP net income up 43.7%; adjusted net income up 53.6%
* Record GAAP operating income increased 31.7%; adjusted operating income increased 42.0%
* Record GAAP diluted EPS of $0.52; adjusted diluted EPS of $0.54
* Record adjusted EBITDA increased 32.8% to $51.6 million compared to $38.8 million in the prior year third quarter
* Operating free cash flow improved by 30.1%, reaching $79.3 million for the 12 months ended March 31, 2012 compared to $61.0 million for the 12 months ended March 31, 2011

"Our natural and organic products continue to resonate with consumers both domestically and internationally, outpacing the trends of conventional consumer packaged goods companies. Our focused execution drove robust top line sales and profitability across various classes of trade, led by natural and organic food retailers and followed by other retailers as consumers continue to seek out our natural and organic products," said Irwin D. Simon, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hain Celestial. "We are delivering on our core strategies of profitable growth, expanding net income margin, leveraging our acquisitions with improved efficiencies and increasing operating free cash flow—all providing a solid foundation for sustainable long-term growth for the Company."

Net sales in the third quarter of fiscal year 2012 increased 31.5% to $379.4 million as compared to net sales of $288.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2011. This year's third quarter net sales of $379.4 million does not include $21.0 million of net sales from private label chilled ready meals, which was acquired as part of the Daniels Group and is now classified as discontinued operations as further detailed below. The Company's growth was driven by increased consumption in core categories and expanded distribution across various classes of trade in all key channels with strong contributions from its Earth's Best®, Celestial Seasonings®, Imagine®, MaraNatha®, Garden of Eatin'®, Sensible Portions®, The Greek Gods®, and JASON® brands.

The Company earned a record $24.1 million of net income as compared to $16.8 million in the third quarter of the prior year and reported record earnings per diluted share of $0.52 as compared to $0.38 in the third quarter of the prior year. Record adjusted earnings per diluted share were $0.54 on record adjusted net income of $24.9 million in the fiscal 2012 third quarter as compared to $0.36 per share on adjusted net income of $16.2 million in the prior year third quarter. Adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per diluted share improved 53.6% and 50.0%, respectively, over the prior year third quarter. Adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per diluted share for the third quarter of fiscal year 2012 excludes $1.7 million after tax, or $0.04 per diluted share, related to acquisition fees, expenses and integration costs, which was partially offset by a decrease in unrecognized tax benefits of $0.8 million, or $0.02 per diluted share.

"As an innovation leader in the natural and organic industry, we introduced over 60 new products at the Natural Products Expo in March. The third quarter was also our first full quarter with the results of the Daniels Group, and I'm excited to see the focus on building our brands in the United Kingdom and integrating our existing business while we continue to take out costs. We also saw great distribution growth from our Europe's Best® brand in Canada, which we owned for the full quarter," concluded Irwin Simon.

The Company also announced today in a separate press release the acquisition of Cully & Sully, Limited in Ireland, a marketer and manufacturer of natural chilled soups, savory pies and hot pots under the Cully & Sully® brand with a range of approximately 20 products. Cully & Sully is expected to be neutral to earnings in fiscal year 2012 and accretive to earnings in fiscal year 2013.

Private Label Chilled Ready Meals
The Company announced its intention to sell the United Kingdom private label chilled ready meals operations, acquired as part of the Daniels Group in October 2011, which is now being reported as a discontinued operation. The sales attributable to this business are not included in the Company's reported consolidated net sales for the three months ended March 31, 2012. Accounting rules require these sales to be included separately in a single item in "Income from discontinued operations, net of tax." During the third quarter net sales of the discontinued operation were $21.0 million and operating income was $94,000. The business unit was not a category leader and produced only private label products. Several strategic parties have expressed an interest in acquiring the unit.

Fiscal Year 2012 Company Estimates
The Company raised its annual earnings guidance for fiscal year 2012 and adjusted its sales guidance to reflect the discontinued operations of private label chilled ready meals as follows:

* Total net sales of $1.40 billion to $1.41 billion
* Earnings of $1.76 to $1.80 per diluted share

Guidance is provided on a non-GAAP basis and therefore excludes acquisition and integration expenses that may be incurred, which the Company will identify when it reports its financial results. Historically, the Company's sales and earnings have been strongest in its second and third quarters.

Webcast
Hain Celestial will host a conference call and webcast at 4:30 PM Eastern Time today to review its third quarter fiscal year 2012 results. The conference call will be webcast and available under the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at www.hain-celestial.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This press release and the accompanying tables include non-GAAP financial measures, including adjusted net income, adjusted operating income, adjusted diluted EPS, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization ("EBITDA"), adjusted EBITDA and operating free cash flow. The reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the comparable GAAP financial measures are presented in the tables "Consolidated Statements of Income with Adjustments" for the three months and nine months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 and in the paragraphs below. Management believes that the non-GAAP financial measures presented provide useful additional information to investors about current trends in the Company's operations and are useful for period-over-period comparisons of operations. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the comparable GAAP measures. In addition, these non-GAAP measures may not be the same as similar measures provided by other companies due to potential differences in methods of calculation and items being excluded. They should be read only in connection with the Company's Consolidated Statements of Income presented in accordance with GAAP.

The Company defines EBITDA as net income (a GAAP measure) before income taxes, net interest expense, depreciation and amortization, equity in the earnings of non-consolidated affiliates and stock based compensation. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income before income taxes, net interest expense, depreciation and amortization, equity in the earnings of non-consolidated affiliates, stock based compensation and acquisition-related expenses and integration costs. The Company's management believes that these presentations provide useful information to management, analysts and investors regarding certain additional financial and business trends relating to its results of operations and financial condition. In addition, management uses these measures for reviewing the financial results of the Company as well as a component of performance-based executive compensation.

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