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ScottsMiracle-Gro Provides Outlook for Fiscal 2013

Invites You to Listen to Its 2012 Analyst & Investor Day Webcast

MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG), the world's largest marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, today announced its outlook for fiscal 2013 in advance of its December 14 Analyst Day.

The Company said it expects company-wide net sales to increase by approximately 1 to 3 percent in fiscal 2013 on flat unit volume and improved pricing. 

An anticipated improvement in gross margin rate, along with leverage from SG&A, is expected to result in adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations in the range of $2.50 to $2.75 for fiscal 2013.

With more than two thirds of its commodity costs now locked for the year – including about 90 percent of urea – the Company said it expects approximately $20 million in commodity inflation in fiscal 2013, primarily due to higher-cost inventory carried into the fiscal year. Offsetting this headwind, the Company said it will increase prices in the low single digits and that it expects a benefit of approximately $15 to $20 million in savings related to its product cost-out initiatives. 

Operating margin rate is expected to be in the range of 11 to 11.5 percent in fiscal 2013.  Interest expense is forecasted to be flat to modestly higher compared to fiscal 2012.  The effective tax rate for the year is projected to be in a range of 36 to 37 percent.

The Company's operating cash flow goal is expected to be at least $250 million in fiscal 2013. 

"We enter 2013 with confidence in our initiatives to drive gross margin improvement, reduce SG&A, improve cash flow and strengthen the overall enterprise," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive officer.  "In an environment in which the consumer remains stressed, I am confident that this focus will allow us to continue to drive a higher level of earnings that enhances shareholder value."

Company Held Its Analyst Day Meeting Today, Dec. 14

The Company held its Analyst & Investor Day today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, with a live webcast with presentation slides available on the investor relations section of the Company's website at http://investor.scotts.com.  The replay of the webcast and accompanying presentation slides will be available on the Company's website following the meeting.

The meeting will also be accessible with a live conference call. To participate in the conference call, use one of the following options:

US/Canada Toll Free:

(866) 682-3515

Int'l Toll:

(706) 679-2138

UK Toll Free:

08000288438

Conference ID:

77338805

A replay of the call can be heard by calling 1-855-859-2056.  An archive of the webcast, as well as accompanying financial information regarding any non-GAAP financial measures discussed by the Company during the call, will be available on the site for at least 12 months.

About ScottsMiracle-Gro

With more than $2.8 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we operate Scotts LawnService®, the second largest residential lawn care service business.  In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligene® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scotts.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, which address activities, events and developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, but not limited to, information regarding the future economic performance and financial condition of the Company, the plans and objectives of the Company's management, and the Company's assumptions regarding such performance and plans are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified as statements that include phrases such as "guidance," "outlook," "projected," "believe," "target," "predict," "estimate," "forecast," "strategy," "may," "goal," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "foresee," "likely," "will," "should" or other similar words or phrases. Actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking information in this release due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Compliance with environmental and other public health regulations could increase the Company's costs of doing business or limit the Company's ability to market all of its products;
  • Increases in the prices of raw materials and fuel costs could adversely affect the Company's results of operations;
  • The highly competitive nature of the Company's markets could adversely affect its ability to maintain or grow revenues;
  • Because of the concentration of the Company's sales to a small number of retail customers, the loss of one or more of, or significant reduction in orders from, its top customers could adversely affect the Company's financial results;
  • Adverse weather conditions could adversely impact financial results;
  • The Company's international operations make the Company susceptible to fluctuations in currency exchange rates and to other costs and risks associated with international regulation;
  • The Company may not be able to adequately protect its intellectual property and other proprietary rights that are material to the Company's business;
  • The Company depends on key personnel and may not be able to retain those employees or recruit additional qualified personnel;
  • If Monsanto Company were to terminate the Marketing Agreement for consumer Roundup products, the Company would lose a substantial source of future earnings and overhead expense absorption;
  • Hagedorn Partnership, L.P. beneficially owns approximately 30% of the Company's common shares and can significantly influence decisions that require the approval of shareholders;
  • The Company may pursue acquisitions, dispositions, investments, dividends, share repurchases and/or other corporate transactions that it believes will maximize equity returns of its shareholders but may involve risks. 

Additional detailed information concerning a number of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this release is readily available in the Company's publicly filed quarterly, annual and other reports. The Company disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.

SOURCE The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company

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