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Planet Organic posts doubled sales, net loss

Edmonton’s Planet Organic Health Corp., billed as the biggest natural products retailer in the country, more than doubled its sales in fiscal 2008 from the previous year, but posted a net loss due to “one-time” costs.

The company owns nine Planet Organic Market (POM) natural food supermarkets in Canada, 11 Mrs. Green’s Natural Markets in the U.S., 48 Sangster’s “natural health” outlets and eight others under the Healthy’s and Planet Organic Living banners. It also owns natural supplement manufacturer Trophic Canada.

Planet Organic on Wednesday posted a net loss of $228,350 on revenues of $113.97 million, down from net income of $1.47 million on $55.32 million in fiscal 2007.

Darren Krissie, the company’s CFO, reported in its release Wednesday that the 2008 ledger includes one-time costs of $900,000 “related to a failed acquisition.”

The company in June scrapped its plans to put up an offering of common shares to finance its purchase of a California organic food retail chain, New Leaf Community Markets.

In cancelling its offer for New Leaf, Planet Organic said at that time that its proposed public offering “met very weak public market conditions” and “could not be completed at a price that appropriately valued the company’s internal growth opportunities.”

The company then said it would focus its “aggressive” growth plans on its existing divisions, rather than on acquisitions.

To that end, Krissie said Wednesday that “we have successfully integrated the acquisition of Mrs Green’s in the U.S., added one new POM market location and started construction on the Edmonton flagship expansion, as well as the third Ontario location.”

The firm, which trades publicly on the TSX Venture Exchange, also kicked off its rebranding of Healthy’s to Planet Organic Living (POL) during fiscal 2008 with its Exchange Tower location in Toronto and opened a new POL store in Milton, Ont.

“We continue to
benefit from the synergies of vertical integration at Trophic, and Sangster’s
continues to open new franchise locations,” Krissie said.

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