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Vitamin Shoppe reports sales, profit up in Q1


North Bergen, N.J. Vitamin Shoppe announced that its first-quarter net sales increased $19.1 million to $191.6 million for the three months ended March 27, 2010, compared with $172.6 million in the same period last year.

The increase was the result of the increase in same-store sales, a strong performance from new stores and a 7.8% increase in direct sales driven by growth in Vitamin Shoppe's online business.

"We had a very strong first quarter," said Rick Markee, chairman and CEO of Vitamin Shoppe. "Same-store sales for the first quarter of 2010 increased 6.2%, making this our eighteenth consecutive quarter of comparable same-store sales growth.”

In addition, the results reflect a solid 7.8% growth in its direct business. Income from operations increased by 42.3% and net income almost doubled.

Net income increased to $8.7 million for the period, compared with $4.6 million for the same period in the year before.

The company operated 453 stores as of March 27, 2010 compared with 418 stores as of March 28, 2009. Overall store sales for the three months ended March 27, 2010 rose due to an increase in non-comparable-store sales of $8.1 million and an increase in same-store sales of $9.3 million, or 6.2%.

Income from operations increased 42.3% from $5.4 million to $18.1 million, compared with $12.7 million last year.

The company also announced it has expanded its senior credit facility to $70 million (from $50 million) and plans to redeem an additional $25 million of outstanding floating rate notes. This is expected to save in excess of $1 million of interest expense annually.

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