The company said net income for the fiscal first quarter rose 42 per cent to $24 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, on the back of sales worth $385 million, a 60 per cent increase on the comparable prior period.
Bought in July 2003, Rexall product lines recorded sales of $75 million, which added to income from its other wholesale division Nature's Bounty, boosted sales by 142 per cent. Without Rexall, sales would have increased 29 per cent over the quarter to $179 million.
NBTY says it has maintained Rexall's retail shelf space and is replacing slow-moving Rexall products with faster-selling, better value Rexall and Nature's Bounty products. Successful integration is also being helped by sustained growth in mass market sales.
The company also uses consumer sales information from its Vitamin World and Puritan's Pride direct-response/e-commerce operations to drive sales among mass-market customers. Vitamin World sales for the fiscal first quarter also increased, 6 per cent, with EBITDA up to $3.4 million from $1.3 million for the fiscal first quarter a year ago. Same store sales increased 7 per cent.
Puritan's Pride sales increased 3 per cent to $35 million, with on-line sales up more than 50 per cent and taking a 20 per cent share of all the division's sales for the quarter.
NBTY's European retail sales also saw a strong increase of 42 per cent to $117 million from $83 million for the fiscal first quarter a year ago. This increase includes sales generated by the 51 GNC stores in the UK and 67 DeTuinen stores in the Netherlands that NBTY acquired in fiscal 2003.
Analysts at Adams Harkness & Hill have a strong buy rating on NBTY. According to analyst Scott van Winkle, the firm's multichannel selling strategy reduces the risk for a company whose core competency is manufacturing.
Last year NBTY became the first vitamin supplement business to transfer from the Nasdaq to New York Stock Exchange. It is expected to continue what looks so far like a successful expansion strategy with further acquisitions over coming months.