NBTY's Q3 Vitamin Sales Are Healthy, But Profits Slide

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Third-quarter sales for multichannel vitamin marketer NBTY Inc. increased, but net income dropped 38 percent because of write-offs related to its Vitamin World unit, the company said Friday.


Sales for the quarter that ended June 30 totaled $439 million compared with $400 million last year, the Bohemia, NY, company said. Net income fell to $16 million from $26 million last year.


Revenue from the company's direct response operations totaled $49 million, a 7 percent decline. Online sales increased 22 percent to $15 million. Online sales now constitute 30 percent of direct response sales, up from 23 percent last year.


During the quarter, NBTY agreed to acquire substantially all the assets of Solgar from Wyeth for $115 million. Solgar had sales of $105 million for 2004. It joins NBTY's existing vitamin brands including Nature's Bounty, Vitamin World, Puritan's Pride, Holland & Barrett, Rexall, Sundown, MET-Rx and GNC.


In addition, NBTY expanded its presence in Canada with its $8 million acquisition of SISU Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of a line of nutritional supplements with sales of $14 million last year.


The company said the number of orders received in the third quarter was unchanged from last year at 664,000. However, as a result of the company's decision to lower prices, the average order fell from $75 to $69.


NBTY said it continues to increase the number of products available via its catalog and Web sites.


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