Ronald D. Croatti, UniFirst President and Chief Executive Officer said, “Our excellent results for the first half of the year are due to strong execution in all facets of our operations. We are very pleased with these results, particularly as we have been faced with a challenging economic environment. Businesses remain hesitant to add new costs, including new employees who are potential wearers of our uniforms.”
Second quarter revenues in the Core Laundry Operations were $301.6 million, up 8.8% from those reported in the prior year’s second quarter. Excluding the effect of acquisitions and a stronger Canadian dollar, revenues grew 8.3%.
Revenues in this segment were positively affected in the period by the impact of a customer related specialty merchandise buyout that added approximately 0.8% to the organic growth. This segment’s income from operations increased 46.9% year to year and its operating margin expanded to 13.4% from 9.9%.
Excluding the impact of the merchandise buyout discussed above, this segment’s second quarter operating margin would have been 12.9% and diluted earnings per share would have been $1.27. Increased profitability in this segment was primarily the result of improved operating leverage that came with our strong revenue growth. Expenses related to merchandise, energy, payroll and other costs related to our plant operations were all lower as a percentage of revenue compared to the prior year.
Revenues for the Specialty Garments segment, which consists of nuclear decontamination and cleanroom operations, were $22.6 million, down 3.9% from $23.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. This segment had income from operations for the quarter of $1.3 million down from $2.6 million in the same quarter a year ago. These results were impacted by a weaker than anticipated performance from this segment’s European operations as well as the completion of two large projects in the latter part of fiscal 2012.
UniFirst continues to maintain a solid balance sheet and financial position. Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter totaled $163.3 million, up from $120.1 million at the end of fiscal 2012. Cash provided by operating activities for the first half of the year was $92.5 million, up 53.1% compared to $60.4 million for the first half of fiscal 2012. The improved cash flows were primarily the result of higher earnings as well as lower cash outflows related to working capital. At the end of the quarter, total debt was $110.8 million, or 10.4% of total capital.
About UniFirst Corporation
UniFirst Corporation is one of the largest providers of workplace uniforms, protective clothing, and facility services products in North America. The Company employs approximately 11,000 Team Partners who serve more than 240,000 customer locations in 45 U.S. states, Canada, and Europe from over 200 customer service, distribution, and manufacturing facilities.
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