Lakewood, CO—Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc., has announced results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended September 30, 2020 in a press release, and has provided its outlook for fiscal 2021.

Highlights for Q4 2020, compared to Q4 2019:
  • Net sales increased 16.3% to $264.2 million;
  • Daily average comparable store sales increased 13.2%;
  • Operating income increased 78.7% to $5.0 million;
  • Net income increased 174.2% to $3.7 million with diluted earnings per share of $0.16;
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 28.1% to $13.3 million;
  • Opened no new stores and relocated one store, resulting in a 3.9% new store growth rate for the twelve-month period ended September 30, 2020; and
  • The Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend of $2.00 per common share and a quarterly cash dividend of $0.07 per common share.
The press release noted that there is a continued trend of customers reducing the frequency of shopping trips while increasing average basket size. Increase in net sales was driven by continued demand for food at home due to COVID-19, but the company also attributes sales to marketing initiatives, promotional campaigns, and increase membership in and usage of the {N}power customer loyalty program.

"Fourth quarter results continue to reflect strong sales and profitability trends, with daily average comparable store sales increasing 13.2%, net sales increasing 16.3% and net income increasing 174.2%, compared to the same period in fiscal 2019. Our proactive and effective response to serving our valued customers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and related government mandates has leveraged our strong customer loyalty, which is reflected in our results. Our focus continues to be on safely providing the highest quality, healthy foods at Always Affordable Prices," said Kemper Isely, Co-President, in the press release. "Our good4u Crew members' commitment to our founding principles has been the driving force behind our ongoing success. As we continue to navigate this evolving environment, we are guided by our core principles and are focused on the well-being of our crew members and customers. We are extremely thankful for each of our crew members' dedication to the communities we serve."

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Results for fiscal year 2020, compared to fiscal year 2019:
  • Net sales increased $133.3 million, or 14.7%
  • Daily average comparable store sales increased 12%
  • Gross profit increased 18.6% to $283.1 million
  • Store expenses increased $29.3 million, or 14.8%, due primarily to increased labor expenses
  • Net income was $20 million
Looking ahead to fiscal year 2021, Natural Grocers expects that the pandemic and related government mandates will continue to impact financial performance and operations. The company expects to open 5-6 new stores and to relocate 3-5 stores. It expects to see daily average comparable store sales growth ranging between -2% and 2%.