GNC Holdings, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Results

  • Reported fourth quarter diluted loss per share of $6.35 and on an adjusted basis, earnings of $0.07. Reported 2016 diluted loss per share of $4.12 and earnings of $2.15 on an adjusted basis. Reported results include the impact of non-cash long-lived asset impairment charges.
  • Completed nationwide launch of the One New GNC, including single pricing model and new loyalty programs on December 29, 2016
  • Board of Directors suspends the Company's quarterly dividend

PITTSBURGH - Feb. 16, 2017 // PRNewswire // - GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC) (the "Company") reported consolidated revenue of $569.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with consolidated revenue of $629.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2015.

Same store sales decreased 12.0% in domestic company-owned stores (including GNC.com sales which contributed 4.5% of the decrease) in the fourth quarter of 2016. In domestic franchise locations, same store sales decreased 6.0% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

For the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company reported a net loss of $433.4 million. The Company recorded $473.5 million in non-cash long-lived asset impairments in the current quarter of which $471.1 million related to goodwill and $2.4 million related to property and equipment. The non-cash goodwill impairment charges were recorded on the Domestic Stores, Manufacturing and Canada reporting units for $366.4 million, $90.5 million and $14.2 million, respectively. Diluted loss per share was $6.35 for the fourth quarter of 2016. Adjusted diluted EPS was $0.07 for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Bob Moran, Interim Chief Executive Officer, commented, "GNC's performance in the fourth quarter, while well below expectations, does not reflect the fundamental changes we have made to the business model. Customers are responding well to the new model, which launched in late December and includes simplified, more competitive pricing and new loyalty programs. We are aware that the changes we have made have short-term financial impacts and while it is still in the early days, and it will take time for our investments to bear fruit, we are encouraged by the trends we're seeing and believe the One New GNC can help the company return to profitable growth."

Key elements of the One New GNC launch:

  • Pricing model. Following more than a year of consumer tests and pilot programs, we rolled out a single-tiered pricing strategy in our domestic company-owned and franchise locations.
  • myGNC Rewards and PRO Access loyalty programs. Following extensive research, a free loyalty program, myGNC Rewards, and a paid program, PRO Access, were launched. The initial focus was to have the myGNC Rewards program well entrenched with customers and direct additional resources to a more comprehensive sales focus on PRO Access later in the first quarter of 2017. Further developing and encouraging active customer participation through robust loyalty programs is an important step towards the goal of attracting new customers and building long-term connections with existing customers.
  • GNC.com. In the third quarter, prices at GNC.com were aligned with stores to eliminate any competition between selling channels, including franchisees. As an element of our omnichannel strategy, early in the first quarter we launched a GNC storefront on Amazon.

Segment Operating Performance

U.S. & Canada

Revenue in the U.S. and Canada segment decreased $41.1 million, or 8.0%, to $472.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016 compared with $513.7 million in the prior year quarter. E-commerce sales which include GNC.com and Lucky Vitamin, were 8.8% of U.S. and Canada revenue for the three months ended December 31, 2016, compared with 11.4% in the prior year quarter.

Negative domestic retail same store sales of 12.0%, which includes GNC.com, were primarily due to lower sales in the Vitamins, Protein, Food/Drink and Weight Management categories, partially offset by improvement in the Health and Beauty category and include the impact of a significant decrease in GNC.com sales due in part to a meaningful reduction in web promotion as well as lower point-of-sale gold card sales. In addition, negative same store sales include a 1.0% impact of closing our corporate stores on December 28, 2016 in connection with the roll-out of the One New GNC. Our corporate stores decreased from 3,584 at December 31, 2015 to 3,513 at December 31, 2016.

Domestic franchise revenue increased $3.2 million to $72.6 million in the current quarter compared with $69.4 million in the prior year quarter primarily due to a net increase in the number of franchise stores from 1,084 at December 31, 2015 to 1,178 at December 31, 2016, partially offset by the impact of negative retail same stores sales of 6.0%.

Operating loss was $361.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016 compared with income of $78.4 million for the same period in 2015. Long-lived asset impairments were recorded in the current quarter totaling $383.0 million as explained above. Excluding these non-cash impairment charges and gains on refranchising of $0.8 million and $5.1 million the current quarter and prior year quarter, operating income was 4.4% and 14.3% of segment revenue, respectively. The decrease in operating income as a percentage of segment revenue excluding asset impairment charges and gains on refranchising compared with the prior year quarter was primarily due to: deleverage in occupancy and salaries expense associated with negative company-owned same store sales; lower domestic retail product margin rate as a result of higher reserves on certain third-party product that could not be returned to vendors as well as higher estimated reserves on certain proprietary products as a result of recent sales trends and to a lesser extent the impact of promotional pricing; and the launch of the One New GNC (which lowered operating income by approximately $10 million).

International

Revenues in the International segment decreased $9.0 million, or 18.5%, to $39.7 million in the current quarter compared with $48.7 million in the prior year quarter. Despite our international franchisees reporting an increase in retail same store sales of 5.1% in the current quarter (excluding the impact of foreign exchange rate changes relative to the U.S. dollar), revenue from franchisees decreased $9.4 million compared with the prior year quarter primarily related to challenges in several markets, as well as a net decrease in the number of franchise stores from 2,095 at December 31, 2015 to 1,973 at December 31, 2016.

Operating income decreased $2.5 million, or 15.1%, to $14.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016 compared with $16.5 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income was 35.2% of segment revenue in the current quarter, which increased compared with the prior year quarter of 33.8% as a result of higher product margin rate due in part to a higher mix of proprietary sales.

Manufacturing / Wholesale

Revenues in the Manufacturing / Wholesale segment, excluding intersegment sales, decreased $4.6 million, or 7.4% to $57.7 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016 compared with $62.3 million in the prior year quarter. Third-party contract manufacturing sales increased $2.6 million, or 8.4%, to $33.8 million in the current quarter compared with $31.2 million in the prior year quarter. This increase was partially offset by a decrease in sales to our wholesale customers of $7.3 million, or 23.3% from $31.1 million in the prior year quarter to $23.8 million in the current quarter. Intersegment sales decreased $14.4 million from $60.6 million in the prior year quarter to $46.2 million in the current quarter primarily due to lower proprietary sales in the U.S. and Canada and International segments.

Operating loss was $73.7 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016 compared with income of $22.6 million in the prior year quarter. Excluding the $90.5 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge described above, operating income was $16.8 million or 16.2% of segment revenue in the current quarter compared with 18.4% in the prior year quarter. The decrease in operating income as a percentage of segment revenue excluding the current quarter impairment charge compared with the prior year quarter was primarily due to lower intersegment sales, which resulted in unfavorable manufacturing variances, and a higher mix of third-party contract manufacturing sales, which generally contribute lower margins.

Full Year Performance

For the full year 2016, the Company reported consolidated revenue of $2,540.0 million, a decrease of 5.3% compared with consolidated revenue of $2,683.3 million for the full year 2015. Revenue in the U.S. & Canada and International segments decreased by 4.3% and 12.2%, respectively, compared with the prior year. Revenue in the Manufacturing / Wholesale segment was flat compared with the prior year, excluding intersegment sales.

Same store sales decreased 6.5% in domestic company-owned stores (including GNC.com sales which contributed 1.8% to the decrease) for fiscal 2016. In domestic franchise locations, same store sales decreased 6.8% in fiscal 2016.

For the full year 2016, the Company reported a net loss of $286.3 million, compared with net income of $219.3 million for the full year 2015. The net loss in 2016 includes $476.6 million of non-cash long-lived asset impairment charges. Diluted loss per share was $4.12 for full year 2016 compared with $2.60 in 2015. Adjusted diluted EPS was $2.15 for the full year 2016 compared with $2.87 in 2015.

Operating Metrics

At year-end, the Company had 3,513 corporate stores in the U.S. and Canada, 1,178 domestic franchise locations, 2,358 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations and 1,973 international stores. The Company now has 9,022 store locations worldwide. As part of ongoing reviews of the Company's store portfolio giving consideration to the most recent trends and developments, the Company intends on exiting approximately 100 stores whose leases terminate in 2017 and lowering the rate of new store openings to maximize the return on investment of the capital invested in new stores.

For the full year 2016, the Company generated net cash from operating activities of $208.2 million and invested $59.6 million in capital expenditures. The Company generated free cash flow of $185.8 million (which it defines as cash provided by operating activities less cash used in investing activities excluding acquisitions), which includes $39.2 million of proceeds associated with refranchising transactions. As of December 31, 2016, the Company's cash and cash equivalents were $34.5 million, long-term debt was $1.5 billion and the Company had $167.2 million available under the Revolving Credit Facility.

Dividends and Share Repurchases

The Board of Directors has approved management's recommendation to suspend the Company's quarterly dividend. The dividend suspension is part of a broader plan to utilize a greater portion of the Company's free cash to reduce debt. By suspending what has been a $0.20 per share quarterly dividend, the Company intends to reallocate approximately $55 million of cash annually, primarily to reduce debt through the pay-down of its revolver. The Company remains focused on creating long-term shareholder value by returning GNC to sustainable growth, strengthening its balance sheet and restoring financial flexibility and strong liquidity.

During 2016, the Company repurchased 7.9 million shares of the Company's stock for $229.2 million. No shares were repurchased by the Company under its share repurchase program in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The remaining $197.8 million authorized under the current program is not expected to be utilized during fiscal 2017.

Conference Call

GNC has scheduled a live webcast to report its fourth quarter 2016 financial results on February 16, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. To participate on the live call listeners in North America may dial (888) 312-9837 and international listeners may dial (719) 785-1760; the conference identification number for all callers is 9718857. In addition, a live webcast of the call will be available on www.gnc.com via the Investor Relations section under "About GNC." A replay of this webcast will be available through March 16, 2017.

About Us

GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC) - Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA - is a leading global specialty health, wellness and performance retailer.

GNC connects customers to their best selves by offering a premium assortment of health, wellness and performance products, including protein, performance supplements, weight management supplements, vitamins, herbs and greens, wellness supplements, health and beauty, food and drink and other general merchandise. This assortment features proprietary GNC and nationally recognized third-party brands.

GNC's diversified, multi-channel business model generates revenue from product sales through company-owned retail stores, domestic and international franchise activities, third-party contract manufacturing, e-commerce and corporate partnerships. As of December 31, 2016, GNC had more than 9,000 locations, of which more than 6,700 retail locations are in the United States (including 2,358 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in approximately 50 countries.

Forward-Looking Statements Involving Known and Unknown Risks and Uncertainties

This release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the Company's financial condition, results of operations and business that is not historical information. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as "subject to," "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "estimates," "projects," "may," "will," "should," "can," the negatives thereof, variations thereon and similar expressions, or by discussions regarding our dividend, share repurchase plan, strategy and outlook. While GNC believes there is a reasonable basis for its expectations and beliefs, they are inherently uncertain. The Company may not realize its expectations and its beliefs may not prove correct. Many factors could affect future performance and cause actual results to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by forward-looking statements, including but not limited to unfavorable publicity or consumer perception of our products; costs of compliance and any failure on our part to comply with new and existing governmental regulations governing our products; limitations of or disruptions in our manufacturing system or losses of manufacturing certifications; disruptions in our distribution network; or failure to successfully execute our growth strategy, including any inability to expand our franchise operations or attract new franchisees, any inability to expand our company-owned retail operations, any inability to grow our international footprint, any inability to expand our e-commerce businesses, or any inability to successfully integrate businesses that we acquire. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Actual results could differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. For a listing of factors that may materially affect such forward-looking statements, please refer to the risk factors in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Management has included as an operational metric same store sales, which is a commonly used statistical measure in the retail industry and is important to the understanding of the Company's performance. Same store sales growth represents the percentage change in same store point-of-sale retail sales in the period presented compared with the prior year period. Same store sales are calculated on a daily basis for each store and exclude the net sales of a store for any period if the store was not open during the same period of the prior year. The Company includes its internet sales of GNC.com in the domestic retail company-owned same store sales calculation. When a store's square footage has been changed as a result of reconfiguration or relocation in the same mall or shopping center, the store continues to be treated as a same store. If, during the period presented, a store was closed, relocated to a different mall or shopping center, or converted to a franchise store of a company-owned store, sales from that store up to and including the closing day or the day immediately preceding the relocation or conversion are included as same store sales as long as the store was open during the same period of the prior year. The Company excludes sales during the period presented that occurred on or after the date of relocation to a different mall or shopping center or the date of a conversion.

Management has included non-GAAP financial measures in this press release because it believes they represent an effective supplemental means by which to measure the Company's operating performance. Management believes that net income and earnings per share, adjusted to exclude long-lived asset impairments, gains on refranchising and certain other expenses as reflected in this release, and free cash flow are useful to investors as they enable the Company and its investors to evaluate and compare the Company's results from operations in a more meaningful and consistent manner by excluding specific items which are not reflective of ongoing operating results. However, these measures are not measurements of the Company's performance under GAAP and should not be considered as alternatives to earnings per share, net income or any other performance measures derived in accordance with GAAP, or as an alternative to GAAP cash flow from operating activities, or as a measure of the Company's profitability or liquidity. For more information, see the attached reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures.

To view full tables, please go to: [http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=88669&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2246592]. 

Investor Contacts:

Amy Greene
Vice President
Investor & Government Relations
(412) 288-4744

John Mills
Partner - ICR
(646) 277-1254

SOURCE GNC Holdings, Inc.

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