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The Hain Celestial Group Reports Third Quarter Results.

- Sales Grow to $136.9 Million -

The Hain Celestial Group , the leading natural and organic food company, today announced that net sales for the third quarter ended March 31, 2004 totaled $136.9 million, an increase of almost 6% over the same quarter of the prior year. Gross sales before deducting trade and other sales incentives increased 9% in the same period. Net income in the third quarter this year was $5.0 million, or $0.14 per share on a diluted basis, as compared with $7.9 million, or $0.23 per share in the third quarter of the prior year.

Irwin D. Simon, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hain Celestial Group, said, "In the quarter, we had higher costs, a soup supply issue, and we took advantage of our investment opportunities behind the launch of CarbFit(R). These events, which impacted earnings, do not obscure the underlying health of our brands and business. The performance of our key brands and business this quarter demonstrates that we maintain and continue to improve our ability to meet the demand for natural and organic products. Importantly, most of our key brands posted positive sales gains. In the third quarter of this year we saw 21% growth in our Snacks business, 6% growth at Celestial Seasonings, and 24% growth at Earth's Best. Our Canadian Business grew 24% while our European Business grew 36%. We have laid a strong foundation for CarbFit, a well-received brand that has quickly become one of America's leading brands serving the needs of today's carb-conscious consumer."

Mr. Simon concluded, "With the continuing increases in costs, the time it will take to rebuild our soup position despite having our co-packer issues resolved -- including securing opportunities to strategically invest in our soup business to ensure it is well positioned for next soup season -- and with our recently announced price adjustments not effective until July, we anticipate that our fourth quarter earnings this year will be in the range of $0.13 to $0.15 per share on revenues of $127 million to $130 million."

Hain Celestial's balance sheet continues to be strong. At the end of the third quarter, working capital totaled approximately $108.4 million with a current ratio of 2.4:1; debt to equity was 13.5%; and total equity reached $484.8 million.

Management will host a conference call to discuss its second quarter results at 9:00 a.m. EDT today, May 7, 2004. The call may be accessed through the Investor Relations section of the Hain Celestial website at Please log in to the call at least fifteen minutes ahead of time to allow time for registration. A replay of the call will be available on the same section of the Hain Celestial website until June 7, 2004.

About The Hain Celestial Group

The Hain Celestial Group, headquartered in Melville, NY, is a natural, specialty and snack food company. The Company is a leader in 13 of the top 15 natural food categories, with such well-known natural food brands as Celestial Seasonings (R) teas, Walnut Acres(R), Hain Pure Foods(R), Westbrae(R), Westsoy(R), Rice Dream(R), Soy Dream(R), Imagine(R), Arrowhead Mills(R), Health Valley(R), Breadshop's(R), Casbah(R), Garden of Eatin(R), Terra Chips(R), Yves Veggie Cuisine(R), The Good Dog(R), The Good Slice(R), DeBoles(R), Lima(R), Biomarche(R), Grains Noirs(R), Natumi(R), Milkfree(R), Earth's Best(R), and Nile Spice(R). The Company's principal specialty product lines include Hollywood(R) cooking oils, Estee(R) sugar-free products, Kineret(R) kosher foods, Boston Better Snacks(R), and Alba Foods(R). The Hain Celestial Group's website can be found at

Statements made in this Press Release that are estimates of past or future performance are based on a number of factors, some of which are outside of the Company's control. Statements made in this Press Release that state the intentions, beliefs, expectations or predictions of The Hain Celestial Group and its management for the future are forward-looking statements. It is important to note that actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward- looking statements is contained from time to time in filings of The Hain Celestial Group with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings may be obtained by contacting The Hain Celestial Group or the SEC.
 Consolidated Balance Sheets
 (In thousands)

 March 31, June 30,
 2004 2003
 Current assets:
 Cash and cash equivalents $21,101 $10,984
 Trade receivables, net 70,731 61,215
 Inventories 76,597 66,444
 Recoverable income taxes 1,018 223
 Deferred income taxes 3,171 3,171
 Other current assets 10,422 7,671
 Total current assets 183,040 149,708

 Property, plant and equipment, net 73,992 68,665
 Goodwill, net 309,288 296,508
 Trademarks and other intangible assets, net 55,909 55,975
 Other assets 9,022 10,692
 Total assets $631,251 $581,548

 Current liabilities:
 Accounts payable and accrued expenses $53,921 $55,710
 Income taxes payable 12,072 1,867
 Current portion of long-term debt 8,648 8,807
 Total current liabilities 74,641 66,384

 Deferred income taxes 14,912 14,912
 Long-term debt, less current portion 56,871 59,455
 Total liabilities 146,424 140,751

 Stockholders' equity:
 Common stock 369 348
 Additional paid-in capital 385,632 364,877
 Deferred compensation (3,043) -
 Retained earnings 101,017 79,089
 Treasury stock (8,435) (8,156)
 Foreign currency translation adjustment 9,287 4,639
 Total stockholders' equity 484,827 440,797

 Total liabilities and
 stockholders' equity $631,251 $581,548

 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (in thousands, except per share amounts)

 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 March 31, March 31,
 2004 2003 2004 2003
 (Unaudited) (Unaudited)

 Net sales $136,862 $129,224 $406,707 $348,650
 Cost of Sales 98,316 89,519 283,900 240,376
 Gross profit 38,546 39,705 122,807 108,274

 SG&A expenses 29,527 25,901 85,393 72,971
 Restructuring charges - - - 440

 Operating income 9,019 13,804 37,414 34,863

 Interest expense and other expenses 932 1,184 2,073 1,560
 Income before income taxes 8,087 12,620 35,341 33,303
 Income tax provision 3,073 4,764 13,413 12,572
 Net income $5,014 $7,856 $21,928 $20,731

 Basic per share amounts $0.14 $0.23 $0.63 $0.61

 Diluted per share amounts $0.14 $0.23 $0.61 $0.60

 Weighted average common shares
 Basic 35,694 34,081 34,943 33,853
 Diluted 36,804 34,887 36,098 34,579

 Contact: Ira Lamel, CFO Jeremy Fielding/David Lilly
 The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. Kekst and Company
 631-730-2200 212-521-4800

CONTACT: Ira Lamel, CFO of The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., +1-631-730-2200; Jeremy Fielding or David Lilly of Kekst and Company, +1-212-521-4800, both for The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 7, 2004
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