GNC Holdings, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2018 Results
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GNC Holdings, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2018 Results

  • Same store sales growth of 0.5%; third straight quarter of positive growth
  • Net income of $6.2 million and $20.1 million on an adjusted basis; Adjusted EBITDA of $59.3 million
  • Gross profit rate of 34.1%; the highest in six quarters

PITTSBURGH - April 26, 2018 // PRNewswire // - GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC) (the "Company") reported consolidated revenue of $607.5 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared with consolidated revenue of $654.9 million in the first quarter of 2017. The decrease was primarily due to the sale of Lucky Vitamin on September 30, 2017, which resulted in a $22.7 million reduction to revenue, and the termination of the U.S. Gold Card Member Pricing program in the prior year quarter, which resulted in a $23.0 million decrease in revenue.

Same store sales increased 0.5% in domestic company-owned stores (including in the first quarter of 2018. In domestic franchise locations, same store sales decreased 1.9%.

For the first quarter of 2018, the Company reported net income of $6.2 million compared with $24.7 million in the prior year quarter. Diluted earnings per share ("EPS") was $0.07 in the current quarter compared with $0.36 in the prior year quarter. In the first quarter of 2018, the Company recorded a $16.7 million loss on debt refinancing. Excluding this item and other expenses outlined in the table below, adjusted net income was $20.1 million in the current quarter compared with $26.0 million in the prior year quarter and adjusted EPS was $0.24 in the current quarter compared with $0.38 in the prior year quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA, as defined and reconciled in the table below, was $59.3 million in the current quarter compared with $73.7 million in the prior year quarter. The prior year quarter includes the impact of $23.0 million in revenue and gross profit associated with the termination of the Gold Card Member Pricing program as well as higher marketing expense of approximately $6 million in connection with the launch of the media campaign around the One New GNC.

"During the first quarter of 2018, we continued to see the business improve, and were pleased with the progress of our strategic growth initiatives," said Ken Martindale, CEO. "Notably, we delivered meaningful gross margin growth, driven primarily by increased penetration of our private label brands. We continue to work to leverage our strength in innovation, expand our international presence and deliver a consistent, compelling experience at every customer touch point."

Key Updates

  • GNC brand mix for domestic system-wide sales increased to 50% in the first quarter compared with 48% in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 43% in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Slimvance, our category defining weight loss product, has successfully attracted new customers, drove a larger basket and despite overall sales declines, increased our share of the U.S. weight management market.
  • As of March 31, 2018, our loyalty membership increased 12.3% to 12.8 million members compared with December 31, 2017. Included in our loyalty membership at March 31, 2018 are 935,000 members enrolled in PRO Access, a 23.6% increase compared with December 31, 2017.
  • In the first quarter, the Company improved its financial flexibility through the extension of its debt maturities. In addition, the Company's strong sustainable cash flow will continue to be used to pay down debt.

Segment Operating Performance

U.S. & Canada

Revenues in the U.S. and Canada segment decreased $24.2 million, or 4.5%, to $512.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2018 compared with $536.6 million in the prior year quarter.

In the prior year quarter, the discontinuation of the Gold Card Member Pricing program in the U.S. resulted in the recognition of deferred revenue of $23.0 million. In addition, company-owned store closures contributed an approximate $7 million decrease compared with the prior year quarter, while domestic franchise revenue declined $7.8 million due to a decrease in retail same store sales, as well as a reduction in the number of franchise stores. Partially offsetting the above decreases in revenue was an increase of $12.9 million relating to the Company's loyalty programs, PRO Access and myGNC Rewards.

Operating income decreased $7.0 million to $43.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2018 compared with $50.5 million for the same period in 2017. Operating income as a percentage of segment revenue was 8.5% in the current quarter compared with 9.4% in the prior year quarter. Excluding the impact of the prior year quarter recognition of deferred revenue related to the Gold Card Member Pricing program and the prior year quarter marketing costs in support of the One New GNC media campaign, operating income as a percentage of segment revenue increased 2.0% due to a higher sales mix of proprietary product.


Revenues in the International segment increased $0.3 million, or 0.8%, to $40.1 million in the current quarter compared with $39.8 million in the prior year quarter primarily due to an increase of $3.4 million in China cross-border e-commerce sales.

Operating income decreased $0.4 million, or 2.7%, to $14.5 million in the current quarter compared with $14.9 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income was 36.1% of segment revenue in the current quarter compared with 37.4% in the prior year quarter. The decrease in operating income percentage was primarily due to a higher mix of China sales, which contribute lower margins relative to franchise sales.

Manufacturing / Wholesale

Revenues in the Manufacturing / Wholesale segment, excluding intersegment sales, decreased $0.7 million, or 1.4%, to $55.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2018 compared with $55.8 million in the prior year quarter primarily due to a $0.9 million decrease in third-party contract manufacturing sales. Intersegment sales increased $3.4 million reflecting the Company's increasing focus on proprietary products.

Operating income decreased $2.3 million, or 13.3%, to $15.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2018 compared with $17.3 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income as a percentage of segment revenue decreased from 14.7% in the prior year quarter to 12.5% in the current quarter primarily due to a lower margin rate from third-party contract manufacturing.

Cash Flow and Liquidity Metrics

For the three months ended March 31, 2018, the Company generated net cash from operating activities of $25.1 million, a $21.0 million decrease compared with the three months ended March 31, 2017 of $46.1 million. The decrease was primarily related to $15.8 million in fees paid to third-parties in connection with the Amendment to the Company's Senior Credit Facility.

For the three months ended March 31, 2018, the Company generated an increase in free cash flow of $4.0 million or 12.0% from $33.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017 to $37.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2018. The Company defines free cash flow as cash provided by operating activities (excluding fees relating to the debt refinancing) less cash used in investing activities (excluding acquisitions except for store acquisitions). At March 31, 2018, the Company's cash and cash equivalents were $53.9 million and debt was $1.3 billion, which includes $17.5 million in borrowings outstanding on its Revolving Credit Facility.

Store Count

At March 31, 2018, the Company had 3,385 corporate stores in the U.S. and Canada, 1,083 domestic franchise locations, 2,428 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations and 2,009 international locations. The Company now has 8,905 store locations worldwide. As part of the ongoing optimization of the Company's store portfolio, the Company intends to close approximately 200 stores in 2018. Efforts toward favorable lease renegotiations or relocation opportunities are ongoing and may impact the amount of stores closings. The Company expects a limited number of new store openings in 2018.

Update on Harbin Pharmaceutical Transaction

On April 26, 2018, shareholders of Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co., Ltd ("Hayao") voted to approve the company's $300 million investment in GNC.

As previously announced, on April 25, 2018, GNC convened and adjourned its Special Meeting of Stockholders (the "Special Meeting") to allow additional time to solicit proxies and obtain a quorum for the meeting. A substantial majority (over 92%) of the proxies received by GNC as of April 25, 2018 authorized a vote in favor of the issuance of convertible preferred shares to Hayao (the "Share Issuance Proposal") in connection with Hayao's strategic investment in GNC. However, holders of only approximately 36% of the outstanding shares of the Company's common stock submitted proxies to vote at the Special Meeting and the necessary quorum was not reached. GNC will reconvene its Special Meeting at 10:00 A.M., Eastern Time, on May 9, 2018.

Conference Call

GNC has scheduled a live webcast to reports its first quarter 2018 financial results on April 26, 2018 at 8:30 a.m ET. To participate on the live call, listeners in North America may dial (800) 263-0877 and international listeners may dial (323) 794-2094. In addition, a live webcast of the call will be available on via the Investor Relations section under "About GNC." A replay of this webcast will be available through May 10, 2018.

About GNC Holdings, Inc.

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 heath, 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 March 31, 2018, GNC had approximately 8,900 locations, of which approximately 6,700 retail locations are in the United States (including approximately 2,400 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 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 the Company's products; costs of compliance and any failure on management's part to comply with new and existing governmental regulations governing our products; limitations of or disruptions in the manufacturing system or losses of manufacturing certifications; disruptions in the distribution network; or failure to successfully execute the Company's growth strategy, including any inability to expand franchise operations or attract new franchisees, any inability to expand company-owned retail operations, any inability to grow the international footprint, any inability to expand the e-commerce businesses, or any inability to successfully integrate businesses that are acquired. 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 Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Same Store Sales

Same store sales for company-owned stores include point-of-sale retail sales from all domestic stores which have been operating for twelve full months following the opening period. The Company is an omnichannel retailer with capabilities that allow a customer to use more than one channel when making a purchase, including in-store and through e-commerce channels which include its wholly-owned website and third party websites (the sales from which are included in the business unit) where product assortment and price are controlled by the Company, in which purchases are fulfilled by direct shipment to the customer from one of the Company's distribution facilities as well as third party e-commerce vendors. In-store sales are reduced by sales originally consummated online or through mobile devices and subsequently returned in-store. Sales of membership programs, including the new PRO Access loyalty program and former Gold Card program, which is no longer offered in the U.S., as well as the net change in the deferred points liability associated with the myGNC Rewards program, are excluded from same store sales.

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. 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 or 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. Corporate stores are included in same store sales after the thirteenth month following a relocation or conversion to a company-owned store.

The Company also provides retail comparable same stores sales of its franchisees as well as its Canada business if meaningful to current results. While retail sales of franchisees are not included in the Company's Consolidated Financial Statements, the metric serves as a key performance indicator for its franchisees, which ultimately impacts wholesale sales, royalties and fees received from franchisees. The Company computes same store sales for its franchisees and Canada business consistent with the description of corporate same store sales above. Same store sales for international franchisees and Canada exclude the impact of foreign exchange rate changes relative to the U.S. dollar.

Non-GAAP Measures

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, including adjusted net income, adjusted EPS, adjusted EBITDA and segment operating income as a percentage of segment revenue, adjusted to exclude gains on refranchising and certain other items as reflected in this release, and free cash flow. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income plus interest expense, net, loss on debt refinancing, income taxes and depreciation and amortization and certain other items as reflected in this release.

Management believes that these measures 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 and that can differ significantly from company to company depending on long-term strategic decisions regarding capital structure, the tax jurisdictions in which companies operate and capital investments.

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.

For full spreadsheet release, please go to:

Investor Contacts:

Matt Milanovich
Senior Director
Investor Relations
Analysis & Strategy
(412) 402-7260

John Mills
Partner - ICR
(646) 277-1254

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SOURCE GNC Holdings, Inc.



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