Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Announces Second Quarter Fiscal 2023 Results

LAKEWOOD, Colo., May 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC) today announced results for its second quarter of fiscal 2023 ended March 31, 2023.

Highlights for Second Quarter Fiscal 2023 Compared to Second Quarter Fiscal 2022

  • Net sales increased 4.2% to $283.2 million;
  • Daily average comparable store sales increased 2.7%, and increased 7.0% on a two-year basis;
  • Net income was $5.9 million, with diluted earnings per share of $0.26, including a $0.03 per share impairment charge related to a store closure;
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $16.8 million; and
  • Opened one new store, resulting in a 3.1% new store growth rate for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2023.

“We are pleased with our second quarter results. An increase in customer traffic drove the 2.7% increase in comparable store sales, which was ahead of expectations and is prompting us to raise our comparable store sales guidance for the year. On a two-year basis, daily average comparable store sales were up 7.0%, including a 4.5% increase in transaction count,” said Kemper Isely, Co-President. “Our diluted earnings per share for the second quarter was $0.26 including a $0.03 per share impairment charge related to a store closure, and compares to $0.28 in the same period last year. During the quarter we made the decision to close two underperforming stores as part of our ongoing efforts to drive higher store productivity.”

Mr. Isely continued “The strength of our sales trends, including minimal trade-down, indicates that we have a loyal and resilient customer base that prioritizes products with health and sustainability attributes. We believe that our high product quality standards, marketing emphasis on value and Always AffordableSM prices, customer service and convenient shopping experience continue to resonate with consumers and make us a leading destination for natural and organic products in our communities.”

In addition to presenting the financial results of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, the Company) in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the Company is also presenting EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, which are non-GAAP financial measures. The reconciliation from GAAP to these non-GAAP financial measures is provided at the end of this earnings release.

Operating Results — Second Quarter Fiscal 2023 Compared to Second Quarter Fiscal 2022

During the second quarter of fiscal 2023, net sales increased $11.4 million, or 4.2%, to $283.2 million, compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2022, due to a $7.4 million increase in comparable store sales and a $4.9 million increase in new store sales, partially offset by a $0.9 million decrease in sales related to one store that closed in fiscal 2022. Daily average comparable store sales increased 2.7% in the second quarter of fiscal 2023, comprised of a 2.7% increase in daily average transaction count and no change in daily average transaction size. The increase in net sales was primarily driven by transaction count, new store sales and marketing initiatives, partially offset by a moderation of the pandemic trends we experienced in the second quarter of last year.

Gross profit during the second quarter of fiscal 2023 increased $5.7 million, or 7.4%, to $82.5 million, compared to $76.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2022. Gross profit reflects earnings after product and store occupancy costs. Gross margin increased 90 basis points to 29.1% during the second quarter of fiscal 2023, compared to 28.2% in the second quarter of fiscal 2022. The increase in gross margin was driven by higher product margin.

Store expenses during the second quarter of fiscal 2023 increased 9.4% to $65.2 million. Store expenses included an impairment charge of $0.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2023 related to a planned store closure in June 2023. Store expenses as a percentage of net sales were 23.0% during the second quarter of fiscal 2023, up from 21.9% in the second quarter of fiscal 2022. The increase in store expenses as a percentage of net sales was primarily driven by higher labor expense as a result of increased wage rates, and the impairment charge.

Administrative expenses during the second quarter of fiscal 2023 increased 5.3% to $8.6 million, primarily driven by higher compensation expense. Administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales were 3.0% in each of the second quarters of fiscal 2023 and 2022.

Operating income for the second quarter of fiscal 2023 was $8.4 million, compared to $8.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2022. Operating margin during the second quarter of fiscal 2023 was 3.0%, compared to 3.3% in the second quarter of fiscal 2022.

Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2023 was $5.9 million, or $0.26 diluted earnings per share, compared to net income of $6.4 million, or $0.28 diluted earnings per share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2022.

Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of fiscal 2023 increased 4.6% to $16.8 million, compared to $16.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2022.

Operating Results — First Six Months Fiscal 2023 Compared to First Six Months Fiscal 2022

During the first six months of fiscal 2023, net sales increased $14.6 million, or 2.7%, to $563.7 million, compared to the first six months of fiscal 2022, due to an $8.7 million increase in comparable store sales and a $7.7 million increase in new store sales, partially offset by a $1.8 million decrease in sales related to one store that closed in fiscal 2022. Daily average comparable store sales increased 1.6% in the first six months of fiscal 2023, and was comprised of a 0.9% increase in daily average transaction size and a 0.7% increase in daily average transaction count. The increase in net sales was primarily driven by retail price inflation, new store sales and marketing initiatives, partially offset by a moderation of the pandemic trends we experienced in the first six months of fiscal 2022.

Gross profit during the first six months of fiscal 2023 increased 3.7% to $161.2 million, primarily driven by increased sales volume. Gross profit reflects earnings after product and occupancy expenses. Gross margin increased to 28.6% during the first six months of fiscal 2023, compared to 28.3% in the first six months of fiscal 2022. The increase in gross margin was driven by higher product margin.

Store expenses during the first six months of fiscal 2023 increased 8.3% to $128.8 million. Store expenses as a percentage of net sales were 22.8% during the first six months of fiscal 2023, up from 21.7% in the first six months of fiscal 2022. The increase in store expenses as a percentage of net sales reflects higher labor expense as a result of increased wage rates.

Administrative expenses during the first six months of fiscal 2023 increased 9.0% to $16.9 million. The increase in administrative expenses was primarily driven by higher technology amortization, legal expense and compensation expense. Administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales were 3.0% during the first six months of fiscal 2023, up from 2.8% in the first six months of fiscal 2022.

Operating income for the first six months of fiscal 2023 was $14.8 million, compared to $20.9 million in the first six months of fiscal 2022. Operating margin during the first six months of fiscal 2023 was 2.6%, compared to 3.8% in the first six months of fiscal 2022.

Net income for the first six months of fiscal 2023 was $10.3 million, or $0.45 diluted earnings per share, compared to net income of $15.3 million, or $0.67 diluted earnings per share for the first six months of fiscal 2022.

Adjusted EBITDA for the first six months of fiscal 2023 was $30.6 million, compared to $35.6 million in the first six months of fiscal 2022.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

As of March 31, 2023, the Company had $19.0 million in cash and cash equivalents, no outstanding borrowings on its $50.0 million revolving credit facility, and $11.7 million outstanding on its term loan facility.

During the first six months of fiscal 2023, the Company generated $34.9 million in cash from operations and invested $17.8 million in net capital expenditures, primarily for new and relocated stores.

Dividend Announcement

Today, the Company announced the declaration of a quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per common share. The dividend will be paid on June 14, 2023 to stockholders of record at the close of business on May 30, 2023.

Growth and Development

During the second quarter of fiscal 2023, the Company opened one store, ending the quarter with a total of 166 stores in 21 states. As of May 4, 2023, the Company has signed leases for an additional five new stores planned to open in fiscal years 2023 and beyond.

Fiscal 2023 Outlook

The Company is raising its fiscal 2023 outlook for comparable store sales based upon year-to-date performance and current trends. The Company is also increasing its outlook for the number of relocations/remodels. The Company is otherwise confirming its previously announced outlook for fiscal 2023. The Company plans to close two stores in June 2023 and all related costs are incorporated into its outlook. The outlook reflects recent results, current operating trends, consumer trends, and the uncertainty of the economic environment, including inflationary factors.

The Company expects:


Fiscal
2023 Outlook

Number of new stores

4-6

Number of relocations/remodels

2-3

Daily average comparable store sales growth

1.0% to 2.0%

Diluted earnings per share

$0.70 to $0.90



Capital expenditures (in millions)

$28 to $35

Earnings Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call today at 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time (4:30 p.m. Eastern Time) to discuss this earnings release. The dial-in number is 1-888-347-6606 (US) or 1-412-902-4289 (International). The conference ID is “Natural Grocers Q2 FY 2023 Earnings Call.” A simultaneous audio webcast will be available at http://Investors.NaturalGrocers.com and archived for a minimum of 20 days.

About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC) is an expanding specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries, body care products and dietary supplements. The products sold by Natural Grocers must meet strict quality guidelines and may not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners, or partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils. The Company sells only USDA certified organic produce and exclusively pasture-raised, non-confinement dairy products, and free-range eggs. Natural Grocers’ flexible smaller-store format allows it to offer affordable prices in a shopper-friendly, clean and convenient retail environment. The Company also provides extensive free science-based nutrition education programs to help customers make informed health and nutrition choices. The Company, founded in 1955, has 166 stores in 21 states.

Visit www.NaturalGrocers.com for more information and store locations.

Forward-Looking Statements

The following constitutes a “safe harbor” statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except for the historical information contained herein, statements in this release are “forward-looking statements” and are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. All statements that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from these expectations due to changes in global, national, regional or local political, economic, inflationary, deflationary, recessionary, business, interest rate, labor market, competitive, market, regulatory and other factors, and other risks detailed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022 (the Form 10-K) and the Company’s subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The information contained herein speaks only as of the date of this release and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, except as may be required by the securities laws.

For further information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the Form 10-K and the Company’s subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Investor Relations at 303-986-4600 or by visiting the Company’s website at http://Investors.NaturalGrocers.com.

Investor Contact:

Reed Anderson, ICR, 646-277-1260, [email protected]

NATURAL GROCERS BY VITAMIN COTTAGE, INC.


Consolidated Statements of Income


(Unaudited)


(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)






Three months ended
March 31,


Six months ended
March 31,




2023


2022


2023


2022


Net sales


$

283,245


271,822


563,702


549,110


Cost of goods sold and occupancy costs


200,768


195,040


402,506


393,591


Gross profit


82,477


76,782


161,196


155,519


Store expenses


65,192


59,605


128,788


118,941


Administrative expenses


8,605


8,172


16,858


15,465


Pre-opening expenses


249


141


702


225


Operating income


8,431


8,864


14,848


20,888


Interest expense, net


(834)


(545)


(1,630)


(1,089)


Income before income taxes


7,597


8,319


13,218


19,799


Provision for income taxes


(1,713)


(1,962)


(2,927)


(4,527)


Net income


$

5,884


6,357


10,291


15,272












Net income per share of common stock:










Basic


$

0.26


0.28


0.45


0.67


Diluted


$

0.26


0.28


0.45


0.67


Weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding:










Basic


22,725,462


22,660,477


22,716,880


22,650,123


Diluted


22,824,673


22,819,526


22,809,189


22,790,114


NATURAL GROCERS BY VITAMIN COTTAGE, INC.


Consolidated Balance Sheets


(Unaudited)


(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)






March 31,

2023


September
30, 2022


Assets






Current assets:






Cash and cash equivalents


$

18,965


12,039


Accounts receivable, net


6,923


10,496


Merchandise inventory


116,053


113,756


Prepaid expenses and other current assets


3,837


4,369


Total current assets


145,778


140,660


Property and equipment, net


157,707


157,179


Other assets:






Operating lease assets, net


290,611


307,132


Finance lease assets, net


43,191


43,554


Deposits and other assets


422


452


Goodwill and other intangible assets, net


14,337


14,131


Total other assets


348,561


365,269


Total assets


$

652,046


663,108








Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity






Current liabilities:






Accounts payable


$

75,714


71,283


Accrued expenses


25,006


26,737


Term loan facility, current portion


1,750


1,750


Operating lease obligations, current portion


34,917


34,735


Finance lease obligations, current portion


3,365


3,223


Total current liabilities


140,752


137,728


Long-term liabilities:






Term loan facility, net of current portion


9,938


13,938


Operating lease obligations, net of current portion


278,482


295,064


Finance lease obligations, net of current portion


44,816


44,664


Deferred income tax liabilities, net


16,051


15,902


Total long-term liabilities


349,287


369,568


Total liabilities


490,039


507,296








Stockholders’ equity:






Common stock, $0.001 par value, 50,000,000 shares authorized, and 22,726,979 and
     22,690,188 shares issued and outstanding at March 31, 2023 and September 30, 2022,
     respectively


23


23


Additional paid-in capital


58,519


58,072


Retained earnings


103,465


97,717


Total stockholders’ equity


162,007


155,812


Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity


$

652,046


663,108


NATURAL GROCERS BY VITAMIN COTTAGE, INC.


Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows


(Unaudited)


(Dollars in thousands)






Six months ended March 31,




2023


2022


Operating activities:






Net income


$

10,291


15,272


Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:






Depreciation and amortization


14,216


14,020


Impairment of long-lived assets


871


95


Loss on disposal of property and equipment


3


85


Share-based compensation


713


590


Deferred income tax expense


149


107


Non-cash interest expense


9


12


Changes in operating assets and liabilities:






Decrease (increase) in:






Accounts receivable, net


3,358


1,062


Merchandise inventory


(2,297)


(6,104)


Prepaid expenses and other assets


373


(623)


Income tax receivable


166



Operating lease assets


16,406


15,787


(Decrease) increase in:






Operating lease liabilities


(16,940)


(12,748)


Accounts payable


9,270


1,712


Accrued expenses


(1,731)


(1,686)


Net cash provided by operating activities


34,857


27,581


Investing activities:






Acquisition of property and equipment


(16,978)


(10,855)


Acquisition of other intangibles


(859)


(1,586)


Proceeds from sale of property and equipment


72


16


Proceeds from property insurance settlements



130


Net cash used in investing activities


(17,765)


(12,295)


Financing activities:






Borrowings under revolving facility


246,500


4,000


Repayments under revolving facility


(246,500)


(4,000)


Repayments under term loan facility


(4,000)


(4,000)


Finance lease obligation payments


(1,357)


(1,327)


Dividends to shareholders


(4,543)


(4,530)


Repurchase of common stock


(86)



Payments on withholding tax for restricted stock unit vesting


(180)


(218)


Net cash used in financing activities


(10,166)


(10,075)


Net increase in cash and cash equivalents


6,926


5,211


Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period


12,039


23,678


Cash and cash equivalents, end of period


$

18,965


28,889


Supplemental disclosures of cash flow information:






Cash paid for interest


$

639


290


Cash paid for interest on finance lease obligations, net of capitalized interest of
     $122 and $146, respectively


1,005


865


Income taxes paid


2,625


3,721


Supplemental disclosures of non-cash investing and financing activities:






Acquisition of property and equipment not yet paid


$

2,033


2,103


Acquisition of other intangibles not yet paid



103


354


Property acquired through operating lease obligations



756


6,571


Property acquired through finance lease obligations



1,652


4,129





























NATURAL GROCERS BY VITAMIN COTTAGE, INC.




























Non-GAAP Financial Measures




























(Unaudited)

 

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not measures of financial performance under GAAP. We define EBITDA as net income before interest expense, provision for income taxes, depreciation and amortization. We define Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA as adjusted to exclude the effects of certain income and expense items that management believes make it more difficult to assess the Company’s actual operating performance, including certain items such as impairment charges, store closing costs, share-based compensation and non-recurring items.

The following table reconciles net income to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, dollars in thousands:



Three months ended
March 31,


Six months ended
March 31,




2023


2022


2023


2022


Net income


$

5,884


6,357


10,291


15,272


Interest expense, net


834


545


1,630


1,089


Provision for income taxes


1,713


1,962


2,927


4,527


Depreciation and amortization


7,154


6,907


14,216


14,020


EBITDA



15,585


15,771


29,064


34,908


Impairment of long-lived assets



871



871


95


Share-based compensation


356


296


713


590


Adjusted EBITDA


$

16,812


16,067


30,648


35,593


EBITDA decreased 1.2% to $15.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2023 compared to $15.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022. EBITDA decreased 16.7% to $29.1 million for the six months ended March 31, 2023 compared to $34.9 million for the six months ended March 31, 2022. EBITDA as a percentage of net sales was 5.5% and 5.8% for the three months ended March 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively. EBITDA as a percentage of net sales was 5.2% and 6.4% for the six months ended March 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively.

Adjusted EBITDA increased 4.6% to $16.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2023 compared to $16.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 13.9% to $30.6 million for the six months ended March 31, 2023 compared to $35.6 million for the six months ended March 31, 2022. Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net sales was 5.9% for each of the three months ended March 31, 2023 and 2022. Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net sales was 5.4% and 6.5% for the six months ended March 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively.

Management believes some investors’ understanding of our performance is enhanced by including EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, which are non-GAAP financial measures. We believe EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA provide additional information about: (i) our operating performance, because they assist us in comparing the operating performance of our stores on a consistent basis, as they remove the impact of non-cash depreciation and amortization expense as well as items not directly resulting from our core operations, such as interest expense and income taxes and (ii) our performance and the effectiveness of our operational strategies. Additionally, EBITDA is a component of a measure in our financial covenants under our credit facility.

Furthermore, management believes some investors use EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as supplemental measures to evaluate the overall operating performance of companies in our industry. Management believes that some investors’ understanding of our performance is enhanced by including these non-GAAP financial measures as a reasonable basis for comparing our ongoing results of operations. By providing these non-GAAP financial measures, together with a reconciliation from net income, we believe we are enhancing investors’ understanding of our business and our results of operations, as well as assisting investors in evaluating how well we are executing our strategic initiatives.

Our competitors may define EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA differently, and as a result, our measures of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA may not be directly comparable to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA of other companies. Items excluded from EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are significant components in understanding and assessing financial performance. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are supplemental measures of operating performance that do not represent and should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to, or substitute for, net income or other financial statement data presented in the consolidated financial statements as indicators of financial performance. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA have limitations as analytical tools, and should not be considered in isolation, or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of the limitations are:

  • EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect our cash expenditures, or future requirements for capital expenditures or contractual commitments;
  • EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs;
  • EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect any depreciation or interest expense for leases classified as finance leases;
  • EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect the interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments on our debt;
  • Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect share-based compensation, impairment charges, and store closing costs;
  • EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect our tax expense or the cash requirements to pay our taxes; and
  • although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future and EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect any cash requirements for such replacements.

Due to these limitations, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as measures of discretionary cash available to us to invest in the growth of our business. We compensate for these limitations by relying primarily on our GAAP results and using EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as supplemental information.

SOURCE Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc.

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/natural-grocers-by-vitamin-cottage-announces-second-quarter-fiscal-2023-results-301816362.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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