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UniFirst Announces Financial Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal 2018

WILMINGTON, Mass., Jan. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- UniFirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) today announced results for its first quarter which ended November 25, 2017. Revenues for the quarter were $415.8 million, up 7.7% from $386.1 million in the same year ago period. Net income in the quarter was $34.2 million ($1.67 per diluted share), compared to net income of $28.2 million ($1.38 per diluted share) in the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

During our first quarter of fiscal 2018 we adopted Accounting Standards Update 2016-09 (ASU 2016-09), Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting. Under ASU 2016-09, excess tax benefits and deficiencies associated with employee share-based payments are no longer recognized as additional paid-in capital on the balance sheet but instead recognized directly to income tax expense or benefit in the income statement in the reporting period in which they occur.  The net benefit in our first quarter to fully diluted earnings per share from the adoption of ASU 2016-09 was $0.07. The full year 2018 outlook provided by the Company in its October 2017 earnings release did not include any expected benefit from this change in accounting.

Steven S. Sintros, UniFirst President and Chief Executive Officer said, “We are pleased with the overall results of our first quarter.  With our Core Laundry Operations leading the way, all of our operating segments contributed to the positive top and bottom line results.” 

Our Core Laundry Operations produced first quarter revenues of $373.8 million, up 6.2% from those in the first quarter of the prior year.  Adjusting for the estimated effect of acquisitions, primarily from the September 2016 purchase of Arrow Uniform, as well as a stronger Canadian dollar, Core Laundry revenues grew 4.5%.  Core Laundry operating income was $46.4 million during the quarter, a 6.1% increase from the first quarter of the prior year. The Core Laundry operating margin in the first quarter of 2018 was 12.4%, consistent with the same period a year ago.  The operating margin comparison was positively impacted by lower merchandise costs as a percentage of revenues as well as lower stock compensation expense compared to the first quarter a year ago. These positive comparisons were offset by higher costs related to healthcare claims, service and administrative payroll and legal and environmental contingencies.

Revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 for our Specialty Garments segment, which consists of nuclear decontamination and cleanroom operations, were $28.4 million, up 27.2% in the quarter compared to the same period a year ago. Operating income was $4.5 million compared to $1.2 million in the prior year first quarter. The year to year improvement was primarily due to increased outages and project-based activity in the US and Canada as well as gains from this segment's European operations. This segment’s results can vary significantly due to seasonality and the timing of reactor outages and projects.

Our first quarter profit comparison to the prior period also benefited from Other Income which was $0.8 million higher than the same quarter a year ago, primarily the result of higher interest income.

UniFirst continues to maintain a strong balance sheet with no long-term debt and significant cash balances. Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments increased $24.3 million to $374.0 million at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2018.

Mr. Sintros continued, “At this time, we expect that our fiscal 2018 revenues will be between $1.630 billion and $1.650 billion and full year diluted earnings per share will be between $5.10 and $5.30. This outlook includes the $0.07 per share impact of the adoption of ASU 2016-9 in our first quarter.  Our outlook does not include any further tax benefits related to the adoption of this ASU for the remainder of the fiscal year.  In addition, while we expect our future results to substantially benefit from the recent U.S. tax reform, our earnings per share guidance also does not reflect this impact as our analysis is preliminary.” 

Conference Call Information
UniFirst will hold a conference call today at 10:00 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, as well as the delivery of facility service programs. Together with its subsidiaries, the company also provides first aid and safety products, and manages specialized garment programs for the cleanroom and nuclear industries. UniFirst manufactures its own branded workwear, protective clothing, and floorcare products, and with 250 service locations, over 300,000 customer locations, and 14,000 employee Team Partners, the company outfits nearly 2 million workers each business day. UniFirst is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UNF and is a component of the Standard & Poor's 600 Small Cap Index.  For more information, contact UniFirst at 800.455.7654 or visit

Forward Looking Statements
This public announcement contains forward looking statements that reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events and financial performance, including projected revenues 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 “estimates,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “believes,” “seeks,” “could,” “should,” “may,” “will,” 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, the performance and success of our new Chief Executive Officer, our ability to efficiently design, construct, and implement a new customer relationship management (“CRM”) computer system, our ability to maintain and grow Arrow’s customer base and enhance its operating margins, our ability to compete successfully without any significant degradation in our margin rates, uncertainties caused by adverse worldwide economic conditions and their impact on our customers’ businesses and workforce levels, 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, uncertainties regarding our ability to consummate and successfully integrate acquired businesses, our ability to preserve positive labor relationships and avoid becoming the target of corporate labor unionization campaigns that could disrupt our business, the continuing increase in domestic healthcare costs, including the ultimate impact of the Affordable Care Act, our retention of customers and renewal of customer contracts, uncertainties regarding the price levels of natural gas, electricity, fuel and labor, the negative effect on our business from sharply depressed oil prices, fluctuation on our revenue and net income from our specialty garments segment, the effect of currency fluctuations on our results of operations and financial condition, rampant criminal activity and instability in Mexico where our principal garment manufacturing plants are located, the impact on our goodwill and intangibles that might result from adverse financial and economic changes, interruptions or failures of our information technology systems, including as a result of cyber-attacks, failure to comply with other state and federal regulations that might result in penalties or costs, seasonal and quarterly fluctuations in business levels, any loss of key management or other personnel, our dependence on third parties to supply us with raw materials, increased costs as a result of any future changes in federal or state laws, rules and regulations or governmental interpretation of such laws, rules and regulations, the anticipated impact of recent U.S. tax reform on our business, results of operations and financial condition, demand and prices for our products and services, economic and other developments associated with the war on terrorism and its impact on the economy, general economic conditions and other factors described under “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended August 26, 2017 and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update any forward looking statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which such statements are made.

UniFirst Corporation and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Income

(In thousands, except per share data)   Thirteen
weeks ended 
November 25, 
weeks ended 
November 26, 
Revenues   $ 415,778     $ 386,108  
Operating expenses:        
Cost of revenues (1)   253,650     238,765  
Selling and administrative expenses (1)   87,510     79,446  
Depreciation and amortization   22,707     22,140  
Total operating expenses   363,867     340,351  
Income from operations   51,911     45,757  
Other (income) expense:        
Interest income, net   (1,276 )   (801 )
Other expense, net   154     494  
Total other income, net   (1,122 )   (307 )
Income before income taxes   53,033     46,064  
Provision for income taxes   18,827     17,850  
Net income   $ 34,206     $ 28,214  
Income per share – Basic:        
Common Stock   $ 1.77     $ 1.46  
Class B Common Stock   $ 1.42     $ 1.17  
Income per share – Diluted:        
Common Stock   $ 1.67     $ 1.38  
Income allocated to – Basic:        
Common Stock   $ 27,384     $ 22,342  
Class B Common Stock   $ 6,822     $ 5,668  
Income allocated to – Diluted:        
Common Stock   $ 34,206     $ 28,020  
Weighted average number of shares outstanding – Basic:        
Common Stock   15,462     15,285  
Class B Common Stock   4,816     4,847  
Weighted average number of shares outstanding – Diluted:        
Common Stock   20,434     20,249  

 (1) Exclusive of depreciation on the Company’s property, plant and equipment and amortization on its intangible assets.

UniFirst Corporation and Subsidiaries
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets

(In thousands)   November 25,
  August 26,
Current assets:        
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments   $ 374,036     $ 349,752  
Receivables, net   200,148     187,174  
Inventories   81,972     79,068  
Rental merchandise in service   151,354     151,340  
Prepaid taxes   12,969     29,968  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   22,241     16,924  
Total current assets   842,720     814,226  
Property, plant and equipment, net   524,130     525,115  
Goodwill   377,104     376,110  
Customer contracts and other intangible assets, net   69,456     71,744  
Deferred income taxes   407     394  
Other assets   31,013     31,539  
    $ 1,844,830     $ 1,819,128  
Liabilities and shareholders’ equity        
Current liabilities:        
Accounts payable   $ 63,901     $ 64,691  
Accrued liabilities   104,099     112,236  
Accrued taxes       921  
Total current liabilities   168,000     177,848  
Long-term liabilities:        
Accrued liabilities   107,481     106,736  
Accrued and deferred income taxes   83,741     81,352  
Total long-term liabilities   191,222     188,088  
Shareholders’ equity:        
Common Stock   1,547     1,545  
Class B Common Stock   482     482  
Capital surplus   87,844     86,245  
Retained earnings   1,419,180     1,386,438  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (23,445 )   (21,518 )
Total shareholders’ equity   1,485,608     1,453,192  
    $ 1,844,830     $ 1,819,128  

UniFirst Corporation and Subsidiaries 
Detail of Operating Results


(In thousands, except percentages)   Thirteen
weeks ended 
November 25, 
weeks ended 
November 26, 
Core Laundry Operations   $ 373,796     $ 351,843     $ 21,953           6.2 %
Specialty Garments   28,427     22,356     6,071         27.2 %
First Aid   13,555     11,909     1,646     13.8 %
Consolidated total   $ 415,778     $ 386,108     $ 29,670     7.7 %

Income from Operations

(In thousands, except percentages)   Thirteen
weeks ended 
November 25, 
weeks ended 
November 26, 
Core Laundry Operations   $ 46,358     $ 43,673     $ 2,685        6.1 %
Specialty Garments   4,477     1,151     3,326       289.1 %
First Aid   1,076     933     143     15.3 %
Consolidated total   $ 51,911     $ 45,757     $ 6,154     13.4 %

UniFirst Corporation and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows


(In thousands)
weeks ended 
November 25, 
weeks ended 
November 26, 
Cash flows from operating activities:        
Net income   $ 34,206     $ 28,214  
Adjustments to reconcile net income to cash provided by operating activities:        
Depreciation   19,540     18,500  
Amortization of intangible assets   3,167     3,640  
Amortization of deferred financing costs   28     28  
Share-based compensation   1,114     2,015  
Accretion on environmental contingencies   173     150  
Accretion on asset retirement obligations   240     205  
Deferred income taxes   2,031     (746 )
Changes in assets and liabilities, net of acquisitions:        
Receivables, less reserves   (12,879 )   (13,112 )
Inventories   (2,882 )   7,526  
Rental merchandise in service   (82 )   152  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets and Other assets   (4,901 )   9,288  
Accounts payable   (1,092 )   (1,113 )
Accrued liabilities   (7,456 )   (8,837 )
Prepaid and accrued income taxes   16,420     17,589  
Net cash provided by operating activities   47,627     63,499  
Cash flows from investing activities:        
Acquisition of businesses, net of cash acquired   (2,671 )   (120,391 )
Capital expenditures   (19,033 )   (18,233 )
Other   318     281  
Net cash used in investing activities   (21,386 )   (138,343 )
Cash flows from financing activities:        
Proceeds from exercise of share-based awards, including excess tax benefits   267     929  
Taxes withheld and paid related to net share settlement of equity awards   (522 )   (566 )
Payment of cash dividends   (726 )   (724 )
Net cash used in financing activities   (981 )   (361 )
Effect of exchange rate changes   (976 )   (2,471 )
Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments   24,284     (77,676 )
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments at beginning of period   349,752     363,795  
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments at end of period   $ 374,036     $ 286,119  

CONTACT: Steven S. Sintros, President & CEO  

UniFirst Corporation 
68 Jonspin Road
Wilmington, MA 01887 
Phone: 978-658-8888 
Fax: 978-988-0659 

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Source: Unifirst Corp.