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.”
Retail cargo traffic declines
A report released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates said that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports has started to decline for the fall, and November is forecast at 1.9% below the same month last year.
The decrease is attributed to the fact that most retailers already have their holiday season merchandise either on their shelves or en route to their stores.
“As always, retailers are being very strategic with their supply chains,” said Jonathan Gold, VP supply chain and customs policy for the NRF. “Although sales are expected to be in line with the 10-year average, retailers are keeping inventory levels extremely lean and filling their stores wall-to-wall with discounts and promotions. Unlike in 2008, when the financial crisis caught everyone off-guard, retailers have a strong understanding of the consumer mind-set this Christmas.”
U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.33 million twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) in September, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 0.4% from August and made September the busiest month of the year as retailers rushed to stock stores for the holidays, but was down 0.6% from September 2010. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.
The total for 2011 is forecast at 14.76 million TEU, just slightly above the 2010 total of 14.75 million TEU.
Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Long Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast; and Houston on the Gulf Coast.