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Unifirst Announces Financial Results for the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2024

WILMINGTON, Mass., June 26, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- UniFirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) (the "Company," "UniFirst" or "we") today reported results for its third quarter ended May 25, 2024 as compared to the corresponding period in the prior fiscal year: Q3 2024 Financial Highlights Consolidated revenues for the third quarter increased 4.6% to $603.3 million. Operating income was $48.5 million, an increase of 45.1%. The quarterly tax rate decreased to 22.9% compared to 27.2% in the prior year. Net income increased to $38.1 million from $24.3 million in the prior year, or 56.8%. Diluted earnings per share increased to $2.03 from $1.29 in the prior year, or 57.4%. EBITDA increased to $82.5 million compared to $64.0 million in the prior year, or 29.0%. Cash flow from operating activities increased to $193.0 million in the first nine months of 2024, an increase of 35.2% over the prior year. The Company's financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2024 and 2023 included approximately $3.9 million and $8.4 million, respectively, of costs directly attributable to its customer relationship management ("CRM") computer system and enterprise resource planning ("ERP") project. The Company refers to the CRM and ERP projects together as its ("Key Initiatives"). In addition, the Company incurred costs related to the acquisition of Clean Uniform during the third quarter of fiscal 2023 of approximately $0.7 million. The effect of these items on the third quarter of fiscal 2024 and 2023 combined to decrease: Both operating income and EBITDA by $3.9 million and $9.1 million, respectively. Net income by $2.9 million and $6.8 million, respectively. Diluted earnings per share by $0.16 and $0.37, respectively. Steven Sintros, UniFirst President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased with the results for our third quarter, which delivered solid growth in revenues, EBITDA and cash flows from operating activities. I want to sincerely thank all our Team Partners who continue to Always Deliver for each other and our customers as we strive towards our vision of being universally recognized as the best service provider in the industry. …all while living our Mission of Serving the People Who do the Hard Work." Segment Reporting Highlights Core Laundry Operations Revenues for the quarter increased 5.3% to $528.5 million. Organic growth, which excludes the effect of acquisitions and fluctuations in the Canadian dollar, was 4.7%. Operating margin increased to 7.0% from 4.2%. Core Laundry Operations' EBITDA margin increased to 13.1% from 9.9%. The costs we incurred related to the Key Initiatives and the Clean acquisition, discussed above, were recorded to the Core Laundry Operations' segment, and combined to decrease both the Core Laundry Operations' operating and EBITDA margins for the third quarters of fiscal 2024 and 2023 by 0.7% and 1.8%, respectively. The segment's operating and EBITDA margin comparisons benefited from elevated expense in the prior year related to higher healthcare claims and costs related to a legal matter.  In addition, merchandise, payroll and other operating input costs were lower in the third quarter of fiscal 2024 as a percentage of revenues. Specialty Garments Revenues for the quarter were $47.6 million, a decrease of 3.7%, which was due primarily to a decline in revenue from our nuclear operations. Partially offsetting this decrease was growth in the segment's cleanroom operations. Operating margin decreased to 23.9% from 25.2% a year ago, primarily as a result of increased production costs, selling payroll costs and depreciation expense as a percentage of revenues. These margin pressures were partially offset by lower merchandise cost as a percentage of revenue. Specialty Garments consists of nuclear decontamination and cleanroom operations, and its results can vary significantly due to seasonality and the timing of reactor outages and projects. Balance Sheet and Capital Allocation Cash, cash equivalents and Short-term investments totaled $125.4 million as of May 25, 2024. The Company had no long-term debt outstanding as of May 25, 2024. The Company repurchased 47,250 shares of Common Stock for $7.8 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2024. As of May 25, 2024, the Company had $84.0 million remaining under its existing share repurchase authorization. Weighted average shares outstanding – Diluted for both the third quarter of fiscal 2024 and fiscal 2023 were 18.7 million. Financial Outlook Mr. Sintros continued, "We continue to expect our revenues for fiscal 2024 to be between $2.415 billion and $2.425 billion, however, we now expect fully diluted earnings per share to be between $7.17 and $7.49." Our outlook for fiscal 2024 includes one extra week of operations compared to fiscal 2023 due to the timing of our fiscal quarter, and assumes: Core Laundry Operations' organic growth at the midpoint of the range of 4.5%. Core Laundry Operations' operating and EBITDA margins at the midpoint of the range of 6.6% and 12.7%, respectively. An estimate of $12.0 million of costs directly attributable to our Key Initiatives that will be expensed in fiscal 2024 and will decrease both the Core Laundry Operations' operating and EBITDA margins by 0.6%. An effective tax rate of 24.5%. No impact from any future share buybacks or unexpected significantly adverse economic developments. Conference Call Information UniFirst Corporation will hold a conference call today at 9:00 a.m. (ET) to discuss its quarterly financial results, business highlights and outlook. A simultaneous live webcast of the call will be available over the Internet and can be accessed at About UniFirst Corporation Headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., UniFirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) is a North American leader in the supply and servicing of uniform and workwear programs, facility service products, as well as first aid and safety supplies and services. Together with its subsidiaries, the Company also manages specialized garment programs for the cleanroom and nuclear industries. In addition to partnering with leading brands, UniFirst manufactures its own branded workwear, protective clothing, and floorcare products at its five company-owned ISO-9001-certified manufacturing facilities. With more than 270 service locations, over 300,000 customer locations, and 16,000-plus employee Team Partners, the Company outfits more than 2 million workers every day. For more information, contact UniFirst at 888.296.2740 or visit Forward-Looking Statements Disclosure This public announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws that reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events and financial performance, including projected revenues, operating margin and earnings per share. Forward-looking statements contained in this public announcement are subject to the safe harbor created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and may be identified by words such as "guidance," "outlook," "estimates," "anticipates," "projects," "plans," "expects," "intends," "believes," "seeks," "could," "should," "may," "will," "strategy," "objective," "assume," "strive," "design," "assumption," "vision" or the negative versions thereof, and similar expressions and by the context in which they are used. Such forward-looking statements are based upon our current expectations and speak only as of the date made. Such statements are highly dependent upon a variety of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, uncertainties caused by an economic recession or other adverse economic conditions, including, without limitation, as a result of continued high inflation rates or further increases in inflation or interest rates or extraordinary events or circumstances such as geopolitical conflicts like the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, disruption in the Middle East or the COVID-19 pandemic, and their impact on our customers' businesses and workforce levels, disruptions of our business and operations, including limitations on, or closures of, our facilities, or the business and operations of our customers or suppliers in connection with extraordinary events or circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic, uncertainties regarding our ability to consummate acquisitions and successfully integrate acquired businesses, including Clean Uniform, and the performance of such businesses, uncertainties regarding any existing or newly-discovered expenses and liabilities related to environmental compliance and remediation, any adverse outcome of pending or future contingencies or claims, our ability to compete successfully without any significant degradation in our margin rates, seasonal and quarterly fluctuations in business levels, our ability to preserve positive labor relationships and avoid becoming the target of corporate labor unionization campaigns that could disrupt our business, the effect of currency fluctuations on our results of operations and financial condition, our dependence on third parties to supply us with raw materials, which such supply could be severely disrupted as a result of extraordinary events or circumstances such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, any loss of key management or other personnel, increased costs as a result of any changes in federal, state, international or other laws, rules and regulations or governmental interpretation of such laws, rules and regulations, uncertainties regarding, or adverse impacts from continued high price levels of natural gas, electricity, fuel and labor or increases in such costs, the negative effect on our business from sharply depressed oil and natural gas prices, the continuing increase in domestic healthcare costs, increased workers' compensation claim costs, increased healthcare claim costs, our ability to retain and grow our customer base, demand and prices for our products and services, fluctuations in our Specialty Garments business, political or other instability, supply chain disruption or infection among our employees in Mexico and Nicaragua where our principal garment manufacturing plants are located, our ability to properly and efficiently design, construct, implement and operate a new customer relationship management computer system, interruptions or failures of our information technology systems, including as a result of cyber-attacks, additional professional and internal costs necessary for compliance with any changes in or additional Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), New York Stock Exchange and accounting or other rules, including, without limitation, recent rules adopted by the SEC regarding climate-related and cybersecurity-related disclosures, strikes and unemployment levels, our efforts to evaluate and potentially reduce internal costs, the impact of foreign trade policies and tariffs or other impositions on imported goods on our business, results of operations and financial condition, our ability to successfully implement our business strategies and processes, including our capital allocation strategies, our ability to successfully remediate the material weakness in internal control over financial reporting disclosed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended August 26, 2023 and the other factors described under Part I, Item 1A. "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended August 26, 2023, Part II, Item 1A. "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and in our other filings with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which they are made. Investor Relations ContactShane O'Connor, Executive Vice President & CFOUniFirst Corporation               Consolidated Statements of Income(Unaudited)     Thirteen Weeks Ended     Thirty-Nine Weeks Ended   (In thousands, except per share data)   May 25, 2024     May 27, 2023     May 25, 2024     May 27, 2023   Revenues   $ 603,328     $ 576,668     $ 1,787,564     $ 1,661,157                             Operating expenses:                         Cost of revenues (1)     391,244       379,419       1,171,231       1,103,287   Selling and administrative expenses (1)     129,074       132,677       383,350       372,230   Depreciation and amortization     34,560       31,175       103,453       88,115   Total operating expenses     554,878       543,271       1,658,034       1,563,632                             Operating income     48,450       33,397       129,530       97,525                             Other expense (income):                         Interest income, net     (1,406 )     (553 )     (4,590 )     (6,353 ) Other expense, net     522       621       1,813       1,526   Total other (income) expense, net     (884 )     68       (2,777 )     (4,827 )                           Income before income taxes     49,334       33,329       132,307       102,352   Provision for income taxes     11,277       9,053       31,468       26,309                             Net income   $ 38,057     $ 24,276     $ 100,839     $ 76,043                             Income per share – Basic:                         Common Stock   $ 2.12     $ 1.35     $ 5.61     $ 4.23   Class B Common Stock   $ 1.70     $ 1.08     $ 4.49     $ 3.39                             Income per share – Diluted:                         Common Stock   $ 2.03     $ 1.29     $ 5.38     $ 4.06                             Income allocated to – Basic:                         Common Stock   $ 31,962     $ 20,394     $ 84,716     $ 63,882   Class B Common Stock   $ 6,095     $ 3,882     $ 16,123     $ 12,161                             Income allocated to – Diluted:                         Common Stock   $ 38,057     $ 24,276     $ 100,839     $ 76,043                             Weighted average shares outstanding – Basic:                         Common Stock     15,062       15,087       15,094       15,084   Class B Common Stock     3,590       3,590       3,590       3,590                             Weighted average shares outstanding – Diluted:                         Common Stock     18,705       18,748       18,738       18,751                                     (1) Exclusive of depreciation on the Company's property, plant and equipment and amortization on its intangible assets.   Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets(Unaudited) (In thousands)   May 25, 2024     August 26, 2023   Assets             Current assets:             Cash and cash equivalents   $ 112,246     $ 79,443   Short-term investments     13,186