Scotts posts $53.4 million loss

Scotts Miracle-Gro, the nation’s largest supplier of lawn and garden products, reported net sales of $417.2 million for its fourth fiscal quarter, a decrease of 1% from sales in the same quarter last year. Sales in the global consumer segment declined 8% to $308 million.

Scotts LawnService reported sales of $83.4 million, an increase of 5% from the comparable quarter in 2010.

The Marysville, Ohio-based company posted a net loss of $53.4 million for the fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 30. This compares with a net loss of $32.6 million for the corresponding quarter in 2010.

For the full year, Scotts reported net sales of $2.84 billion for fiscal 2011, a decrease of 2% from sales in fiscal 2010. The company attributed the decline to poor weather throughout the U.S. during prime lawn and garden seasons, as well as lower sales in the mass merchant retail channel.

Scotts posted a $167.9 million profit for fiscal 2011, compared with a $204.1 million net income in fiscal 2010.

Adjusted income from continuing operations -- which excludes product registration and recall matters, as well as impairment, restructuring and other charges -- was $182.6 million, compared with $218.8 million in fiscal 2010.

"While 2011 was perhaps the most challenging lawn and garden season I can recall, I was encouraged that consumer participation was strong when the weather cooperated, and that both our international consumer business and Scotts LawnService had solid performance on a full-year basis," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO. “In the U.S., however, poor weather in the peak weeks of both the spring and fall lawn and garden seasons prevented us from ever really establishing momentum. Those facts, coupled with higher commodity costs and changes to the merchandising strategies at a key retailer, led to a disappointing result.”

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