Net income for the quarter was $27.5 million ($1.37 per diluted share) compared to $18.4 million ($0.93 per diluted share) reported in the year ago period. Third quarter results include the positive effect of a settlement related to environmental litigation that the Company entered into during the quarter.
The settlement resulted in a $6.7 million gain which was recorded as a reduction of selling and administrative expenses. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter, adjusted to eliminate the effect of the gain, was $1.16, up 24.7% from the $0.93 reported in the same period a year ago.
Revenues for the first nine months of fiscal 2012 were $943.9 million, up 11.9% from $843.3 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2011. Net income per diluted share for the first nine months of fiscal 2012 was $3.63, compared to $2.94 in the same period a year ago.
Ronald D. Croatti, UniFirst President and Chief Executive Officer said, “We are very pleased with the results of our third fiscal quarter. Although the employment situation remains sluggish, we continue to focus on areas within our control. Our success continues to be the result of strong execution from our sales and service organizations.”
Revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 in the Core Laundry Operations were $281.1 million, up 11.5% from those reported in the prior year’s third quarter. Excluding the effects of acquisitions and a slightly weaker Canadian dollar, revenues grew 10.9%. Segment income from operations adjusted to eliminate the $6.7 million gain referred to above increased 31.4% year to year. The adjusted operating margin expanded to 10.5% from 8.9% a year earlier.
Increased profitability arose from improved operating leverage that came with strong revenue growth. Expenses related to plant operations, depreciation, energy and overall selling and administrative outlays were all lower as a percentage of revenue compared to the prior year. These improvements were partially offset by higher merchandise costs and expenses associated with the Company’s initiative to update its customer service systems.
Revenues for the Specialty Garments segment, which consists of nuclear decontamination and cleanroom operations, were $29.3 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2012, down from a record $30.6 in the third quarter of fiscal 2011. Income from operations for this segment also decreased to $5.0 million in the quarter compared to $5.7 million in the same quarter a year ago.
The net income comparison for the quarter benefited from a decrease in net interest expense of $1.1 million from the third quarter of fiscal 2011. The decrease was due to the expiration of an interest rate swap in March 2011 and the repayment of $75.0 million in private placement notes that came due in June 2011.
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