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UNFI > SEC Filings for UNFI > Form 10-K on 1-Oct-2013All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for UNITED NATURAL FOODS INC



Annual Report

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Exchange Act that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. In some cases you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plans," "seek," "should," "will," and "would," or

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similar words. You should read statements that contain these words carefully because they discuss future expectations, contain projections of future results of operations or of financial positions or state other "forward-looking" information.
Forward-looking statements involve inherent uncertainty and may ultimately prove to be incorrect or false. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as otherwise may be required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or actual operating results. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to:
our dependence on principal customers;

our sensitivity to general economic conditions, including the current economic environment, changes in disposable income levels and consumer spending trends;

our ability to reduce our expenses in amounts sufficient to offset our increased focus on sales to conventional supermarkets and the resulting lower gross margins on these sales;

our reliance on the continued growth in sales of natural and organic foods and non-food products in comparison to conventional products;

our ability to timely and successfully deploy our new warehouse management system throughout our distribution centers and our transportation management system Company-wide;

increased fuel costs;

our sensitivity to inflationary and deflationary pressures;

the relatively low margins and economic sensitivity of our business;

the potential for disruptions in our supply chain by circumstances beyond our control;

the ability to identify and successfully complete acquisitions of other natural, organic and specialty food and non-food products distributors; and

management's allocation of capital and the timing of capital expenditures.

This list of risks and uncertainties, however, is only a summary of some of the most important factors and is not intended to be exhaustive. You should carefully review the risks described under "Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors," as well as any other cautionary language in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, as the occurrence of any of these events could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operation and financial condition. Overview
We believe we are a leading national distributor based on sales of natural, organic and specialty foods and non-food products in the United States and Canada and that our twenty-seven distribution centers, representing approximately 6.5 million square feet of warehouse space, provide us with the largest capacity of any North American-based distributor in the natural, organic and specialty products industry. We offer more than 65,000 high-quality natural, organic and specialty foods and non-food products, consisting of national brands, regional brands, private label and master distribution products, in six product categories: grocery and general merchandise, produce, perishables and frozen foods, nutritional supplements and sports nutrition, bulk and food service products and personal care items. We serve more than 31,000 customer locations primarily located across the United States and Canada, the majority of which can be classified into one of the following categories: independently owned natural products retailers, which include buying clubs; supernatural chains, which consist solely of Whole Foods Market; conventional supermarkets, which include mass market chains; and other which includes foodservice and international customers outside of Canada.
Our operations are comprised of three principal operating divisions. These operating divisions are:
our wholesale division, which includes our broadline natural, organic and specialty distribution business in the United States, UNFI Canada, which is our natural, organic and specialty distribution business in Canada, Albert's, which is a leading distributor of organically grown produce and non-produce perishable items within the United States, and Select Nutrition, which distributes vitamins, minerals and supplements;

our retail division, consisting of Earth Origins, which operates our thirteen natural products retail stores within the United States; and

our manufacturing division, consisting of Woodstock Farms Manufacturing, which specializes in the international importation, roasting, packaging and distribution of nuts, dried fruit, seeds, trail mixes, granola, natural and organic snack items, and confections, and our Blue Marble Brands product lines.

In recent years, our sales to existing and new customers have increased through the continued growth of the natural and organic products industry in general, increased market share as a result of our high quality service and a broader product selection, including specialty products, and the acquisition of, or merger with, natural and specialty products distributors, the expansion of our existing distribution centers; the construction of new distribution centers; the introduction of new products

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and the development of our own line of natural and organic branded products. Through these efforts, we believe that we have been able to broaden our geographic penetration, expand our customer base, enhance and diversify our product selections and increase our market share.
We have been the primary distributor to Whole Foods Market for more than fifteen years. Effective June 2010, we amended our distribution agreement with Whole Foods Market to extend the term of the agreement to September 25, 2020. Under the terms of the amended agreement, we will continue to serve as the primary wholesale natural grocery distributor to Whole Foods Market in its United States regions where we were serving as the primary distributor at the time of the amendment. In September and October 2010 respectively, we acquired certain assets of Whole Foods Distribution previously used for their self-distribution of non-perishables in their Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions. We now serve as the primary distributor to Whole Foods Market in all of its regions in the United States and have amended our distribution agreement with Whole Foods Market effective October 2010 to include these regions. Whole Foods Market accounted for approximately 36% of our net sales for the years ended August 3, 2013 and July 28, 2012.
In June 2010, we acquired the SDG assets of SunOpta through our wholly-owned subsidiary, UNFI Canada for cash consideration of $65.8 million. With the acquisition, we became the largest distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods, including kosher foods, in Canada. This was a strategic acquisition as UNFI Canada provides us with an immediate platform for growth in the Canadian market. During fiscal 2012, we utilized our UNFI Canada platform to further expand in the Canadian market, including through our purchase of substantially all of the assets of a specialty food distribution business in the Ontario market in November 2011. During the first quarter of fiscal 2013, we also utilized this platform for our August 2012 acquisition of substantially all of the assets of a dairy distribution business in the central Canada market. The ability to distribute specialty food items (including ethnic, kosher and gourmet) has accelerated our expansion into a number of high-growth business markets and allowed us to establish immediate market share in the fast-growing specialty foods market. We have now integrated specialty food products and natural and organic specialty non-food products into most of our broadline distribution centers across the United States and Canada. Due to our expansion into specialty foods, we were awarded new business with a number of conventional supermarkets over the past three fiscal years that we previously had not done business with because we did not distribute specialty products. We believe that distribution of these products enhances our conventional supermarket business channel and that our complementary product lines continue to present opportunities for cross-selling.
In June 2011, we entered into an asset purchase agreement with L&R Distributors pursuant to which we agreed to sell our conventional non-foods and general merchandise lines of business, including certain inventory related to these product lines. This divestiture was completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, and has allowed us to concentrate on our core business of the distribution of natural, organic, and specialty foods and non-food products.
To maintain our market leadership and improve our operating efficiencies, we seek to continually:
expand our marketing and customer service programs across regions;

expand our national purchasing opportunities;

offer a broader product selection;

offer operational excellence with high service levels and a higher percentage of on-time deliveries than our competitors;

centralize general and administrative functions to reduce expenses;

consolidate systems applications among physical locations and regions;

increase our investment in people, facilities, equipment and technology;

integrate administrative and accounting functions; and

reduce the geographic overlap between regions.

Our continued growth has allowed us to expand our existing facilities and open new facilities in an effort to achieve increasing operating efficiencies. We have made significant capital expenditures and incurred considerable expenses in connection with the opening and expansion of our facilities. At August 3, 2013, our distribution capacity totaled approximately 6.5 million square feet. In September 2010, we began shipping products from our distribution center in Lancaster, Texas, which serves customers throughout the Southwestern United States, including Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas and Louisiana. In October 2010, in connection with the acquisition of the Rocky Mountain distribution business of Whole Foods Distribution, we took over the operations, including the assumption of an operating lease at a distribution center in Aurora,

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Colorado, augmenting our existing Aurora, Colorado distribution center, which was at capacity, in serving customers in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. In May 2013, we began operations at our new 540,000 square foot distribution center in Aurora, Colorado, replacing our existing two broadline distribution centers, an Albert's distribution center and an off-site storage location. In May 2013, we also began operations at our new Albert's distribution center in Logan, New Jersey. We have also announced a multi-year expansion project with additional distribution centers planned for the United States in Racine, Wisconsin in the village of Sturtevant, Hudson Valley, New York in the town of Montgomery as well as in Northern California.
Our net sales consist primarily of sales of natural, organic and specialty products to retailers, adjusted for customer volume discounts, returns and allowances. Net sales also consist of amounts charged by us to customers for shipping and handling and fuel surcharges. The principal components of our cost of sales include the amounts paid to manufacturers and growers for product sold, plus the cost of transportation necessary to bring the product to our distribution centers. Cost of sales also includes amounts incurred by us at our manufacturing subsidiary, Woodstock Farms Manufacturing, for inbound transportation costs and depreciation for manufacturing equipment, offset by consideration received from suppliers in connection with the purchase or promotion of the suppliers' products. Our gross margin may not be comparable to other similar companies within our industry that may include all costs related to their distribution network in their costs of sales rather than as operating expenses. We include purchasing and outbound transportation expenses within our operating expenses rather than in our cost of sales. Total operating expenses include salaries and wages, employee benefits (including payments under our Employee Stock Ownership Plan), warehousing and delivery, selling, occupancy, insurance, administrative, share-based compensation, depreciation and amortization expense. Other expenses (income) include interest on our outstanding indebtedness, including the financing obligation related to our Aurora, Colorado distribution center, interest income and miscellaneous income and expenses. Fiscal year 2013 other expense also includes a pre-tax charge of $4.9 million in the first quarter related to an agreement to settle a multi-state unclaimed property audit.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. The Securities and Exchange Commission has defined critical accounting policies as those that are both most important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results and require our most difficult, complex or subjective judgments or estimates. Based on this definition, we believe our critical accounting policies are: (i) determining our allowance for doubtful accounts, (ii) determining our reserves for the self-insured portions of our workers' compensation and automobile liabilities and (iii) valuing goodwill and intangible assets. For all financial statement periods presented, there have been no material modifications to the application of these critical accounting policies.
Allowance for doubtful accounts
We analyze customer creditworthiness, accounts receivable balances, payment history, payment terms and historical bad debt levels when evaluating the adequacy of our allowance for doubtful accounts. In instances where a reserve has been recorded for a particular customer, future sales to the customer are conducted using either cash-on-delivery terms, or the account is closely monitored so that as agreed upon payments are received, orders are released; a failure to pay results in held or cancelled orders. Our accounts receivable balance was $339.6 million and $305.2 million, net of the allowance for doubtful accounts of $9.3 million and $6.2 million, as of August 3, 2013 and July 28, 2012, respectively. Our notes receivable balances were $3.3 million and $3.7 million, net of the allowance for doubtful accounts of $0.8 million and $0.7 million, as of August 3, 2013 and July 28, 2012, respectively. Insurance reserves
We are primarily self-insured for workers' compensation, and general and automobile liability insurance. It is our policy to record the self-insured portions of our workers' compensation and automobile liabilities based upon actuarial methods of estimating the future cost of claims and related expenses that have been reported but not settled, and that have been incurred but not yet reported. Any projection of losses concerning workers' compensation and automobile liability is subject to a considerable degree of variability. Among the causes of this variability are unpredictable external factors affecting litigation trends, benefit level changes and claim settlement patterns. If actual claims incurred are greater than those anticipated, our reserves may be insufficient and additional costs could be recorded in our consolidated financial statements. Accruals for workers' compensation and automobile liabilities totaled $18.5 million and $19.5 million as of August 3, 2013 and July 28, 2012, respectively.
Valuation of goodwill and intangible assets

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We are required to test goodwill for impairment at least annually, and between annual tests if events occur or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount. We have elected to perform our annual tests for indications of goodwill impairment during the fourth quarter of each fiscal year. We test for goodwill impairment at the reporting unit level, which are at or one level below the operating segment level. Beginning in fiscal 2012, the first step in our annual assessment of each of our reporting units is a qualitative assessment as allowed under Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2011-08, Intangibles-Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Testing Goodwill for Impairment ("ASU 2011-08"), unless we believe it is more likely than not that a reporting unit's fair value is less than the carrying value. In order to qualify for an exclusion from the quantitative two-step goodwill test, the thresholds used by the Company for this determination are that a reporting unit must (1) have passed its previous two-step test with a margin of calculated fair value versus carrying value of at least 20%, (2) have had no significant changes to its working capital structure, and (3) have current year income which is at least 85% of prior year amounts. For reporting units which do not meet this exclusion, the quantitative goodwill impairment analysis is a two-step test. The first step, used to identify potential impairment, involves comparing each reporting unit's estimated fair value to its carrying value, including goodwill. Each reporting unit regularly prepares discrete operating forecasts and uses these forecasts as the basis for the assumptions used in the discounted cash flow analysis. If the estimated fair value of a reporting unit exceeds its carrying value, goodwill is considered not to be impaired. If the carrying value exceeds estimated fair value, there is an indication of potential impairment and the second step is performed to measure the amount of impairment. If required, the second step involves calculating an implied fair value of goodwill for each reporting unit for which the first step indicated potential impairment. The implied fair value of goodwill is determined in a manner similar to the amount of goodwill calculated in a business combination, by measuring the excess of the estimated fair value of the reporting unit, as determined in the first step, over the aggregate estimated fair values of the individual assets, liabilities and identifiable intangibles as if the reporting unit was being acquired in a business combination. If the implied fair value of goodwill exceeds the carrying value of goodwill assigned to the reporting unit, there is no impairment. If the carrying value of goodwill assigned to a reporting unit exceeds the implied fair value of the goodwill, an impairment charge is recorded for the excess.
As of August 3, 2013, our annual assessment of each of our reporting units indicated that no impairment of goodwill existed. Approximately 91.2% of our goodwill is within our wholesale reporting unit. Total goodwill as of August 3, 2013 and July 28, 2012 was $201.9 million and $193.7 million, respectively. Intangible assets with indefinite lives are tested for impairment at least annually and between annual tests if events occur or circumstances change that would indicate that the value of the asset may be impaired. In accordance with ASU No. 2012-02, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Testing Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets for Impairment ("ASU No. 2012-02"), we analyzed several qualitative factors to determine whether it was more likely than not that an indefinite-lived intangible asset was impaired as a basis for determining whether it is necessary to perform the quantitative impairment test. Impairment would be measured as the difference between the fair value of the asset and its carrying value. During fiscal 2012, our long-term plans related to the trade name of a portion of our Canadian wholesale distribution business evolved, and we decided to phase out this trade name. As a result, we began amortizing this trade name over a period of ten years. As a result, our branded product line asset group is the only remaining indefinite lived intangible asset. As of our most recent annual impairment review, the branded product line asset group was determined not to be impaired. The qualitative factors used in the impairment assessment for the branded product line asset group included a review of the most recent quantitative impairment review through which we confirmed that fair value exceeded carrying value by at least 20% and that pre-tax operating income was at least 85% of the prior year. We believe these projections are reasonable based on our historical trends and expectation of future results. Total indefinite lived intangible assets as of August 3, 2013 and July 28, 2012 were $28.3 million and $28.2 million, respectively. Intangible assets with finite lives are tested for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. Cash flows expected to be generated by the related assets are estimated over the asset's useful life based on updated projections. If the evaluation indicates that the carrying amount of the asset may not be recoverable, the potential impairment is measured based on a projected discounted cash flow model. During the fiscal year ended August 3, 2013, an impairment charge of $1.6 million was recognized in connection with the termination of a long-term licensing agreement and the write-off of the associated intangible asset. Total finite-lived intangible assets as of August 3, 2013 and July 28, 2012 were $21.3 million and $24.3 million, respectively.
The assessment of the recoverability of goodwill and intangible assets will be impacted if estimated future cash flows are not achieved. Results of Operations
The following table presents, for the periods indicated, certain income and expense items expressed as a percentage of net sales:

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                                                      Fiscal year ended
                                              August 3,    July 28,    July 30,
                                                 2013        2012        2011
Net sales                                       100.0  %    100.0  %    100.0  %
Cost of sales                                    83.1  %     82.5  %     81.8  %
Gross profit                                     16.9  %     17.5  %     18.2  %
Operating expenses                               13.8  %     14.4  %     15.2  %
Restructuring and asset impairment expenses         -  %      0.1  %      0.1  %
Total operating expenses                         13.8  %     14.5  %     15.3  %
Operating income                                  3.1  %      3.0  %      2.9  %
Other expense (income):
Interest expense                                  0.1  %      0.1  %      0.1  %
Interest income                                     -  %        -  %        -  %
Other, net                                        0.1  %        -  %        -  %
Total other expense, net                          0.2  %      0.1  %      0.1  %
Income before income taxes                        2.9  %      2.9  %      2.8  %
Provision for income taxes                        1.1  %      1.1  %      1.1  %
Net income                                        1.8  %      1.7  % *    1.7  %

* Total reflects rounding Fiscal year ended August 3, 2013 compared to fiscal year ended July 28, 2012 Net Sales Our net sales for the fiscal year ended August 3, 2013 increased approximately 15.8%, or $828 million, to a record $6.06 billion from $5.24 billion for the fiscal year ended July 28, 2012. This increase was primarily due to growth in our wholesale segment of $821.8 million. Our organic growth (sales growth excluding the impact of acquisitions) of 14.8% is due to the continued growth of the natural and organic products industry in general, increased market share as a result of our focus on service and value added services, and a broader selection of products, including specialty foods. In addition to net sales growth attributable to our organic growth, we also benefited from the inclusion of $53.8 million in incremental net sales related to our acquisitions of certain assets of three distributors completed during the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Our net sales for the fiscal year ended August 3, 2013 were also favorably impacted by approximately 2.2%, or $118.7 million, due to the addition of an extra week in the fiscal year compared to fiscal 2012, and by moderate price inflation of approximately 2% during the year. Our net sales by customer type for the years ended August 3, 2013 and July 28, 2012 were as follows (in millions):

                                            2013         % of Total        2012         % of Total
Customer Type                             Net Sales      Net Sales       Net Sales      Net Sales
Independently owned natural products
retailers                               $     2,040           34 %     $     1,847           35 %
Supernatural chains                           2,207           36 %           1,883           36 %
Conventional supermarkets                     1,501           25 %           1,246           24 %
Other                                           316            5 %             260            5 %
Total                                   $     6,064          100 %     $     5,236          100 %

Net sales to our independent retailer channel increased by approximately $193 million, or 10.4% during the year ended August 3, 2013 compared to the year ended July 28, 2012. While net sales in this channel have increased, they have grown at a slower rate than net sales in our supernatural and conventional supermarket channels, and therefore represent a lower percentage of our total net sales compared to the prior year.
Whole Foods Market is our only supernatural chain customer, and net sales to Whole Foods Market for the year ended August 3, 2013 increased by approximately $324 million or 17.2% over the prior year and accounted for approximately 36% of our total net sales for each of the years ended August 3, 2013 and July 28, 2012. The increase in sales to Whole Foods Market is primarily due to the increases in same-store sales, and to a lesser extent, the expanded primary distribution agreement noted above.

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Net sales to conventional supermarkets for the year ended August 3, 2013 increased by approximately $255 million, or 20.5% from fiscal 2012 and represented approximately 25% of total net sales in fiscal 2013 compared to 24% in fiscal 2012. The increase in net sales to conventional supermarkets is due to increased demand for our products, conventional supermarkets expanding the breadth of products carried in their stores, and the additional two months of . . .

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