Natural Grocers' fiscal 2020 sales break company record, hitting $1 billion

Retailer issues a special dividend as fourth-quarter sales jump 16.3% year over year


Victoria A.F. Camron, Supermarket News

Nov 20, 2020


In fiscal 2020, sales at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage reached $1 billion for the first time.


"We faced many challenges and opportunities in fiscal 2020, and our response resulted in a record performance including achieving over $1 billion net sales and 89 cents in diluted earnings per share," Natural Grocers Co-president Kemper Isely said during the Thursday afternoon conference call.


"Fiscal 2020 was an unprecedented year, presenting numerous challenges amid the global pandemic and related government mandates. We are very proud of our strong response and performance," he said.


"We navigated through the toughest of operating environments while delivering the highest-quality natural and organic foods to our valued customers," he continued.


Isely also announced that shareholders will receive a special dividend of $2 per share, on top of the usual $0.07 dividend for the fourth quarter. The dividends will be paid on Dec. 16 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Nov. 30.


“The special dividend reflects our strong business performance, financial position, cash flow and our commitment to return value to our shareholders,” Isely said.


Natural Grocers began paying quarterly dividends a year ago, at the end of fiscal 2019. The special dividend is being paid with available cash and money borrowed from Natural Grocers' $35 million term loan.


Fewer trips, bigger baskets ...