10-K 1 unf20140830_10k.htm FORM 10-K unf20140830_10k.htm

Table Of Contents

 

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

 

Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the Fiscal Year Ended August 30, 2014

 

Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 

 

Commission file number 001-08504

 

UNIFIRST CORPORATION

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

Massachusetts

04-2103460

(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)

(IRS Employer Identification No.)

 

 

68 Jonspin Road

Wilmington, Massachusetts 01887

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (978) 658-8888

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on

Which Registered

Common Stock,

 

New York Stock Exchange

$0.10 par value per share

 

 

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

 

Yes       No      

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

     

Yes           No  

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

 

Yes       No       

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).      

 

Yes      No       

 

  

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer” and “large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer       Accelerated filer               Smaller Reporting Company             Non-accelerated filer        

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

     

Yes           No  

 

The number of outstanding shares of the Registrant’s Common Stock and Class B Common Stock at October 17, 2014 were 15,193,047 and 4,860,519, respectively. The aggregate market value of the voting stock of the Registrant held by non-affiliates as of February 28, 2014 (the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter), computed by reference to the closing sale price of such shares on such date, was approximately $1,622,023,215.

 

Documents Incorporated By Reference

 

The Registrant intends to file a Definitive Proxy Statement pursuant to Regulation 14A promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, for its 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders within 120 days of the end of the fiscal year ended August 30, 2014. Portions of such Proxy Statement are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

UniFirst Corporation

Annual Report on Form 10-K

For the Fiscal Year Ended August 30, 2014

 

Table of Contents

 

 

PART I

 

Item 1. Business

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

 

Item 2. Properties

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

 

PART II

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

 

Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

Consolidated statements of income for each of the three years in the period ended August 30, 2014

 

Consolidated statements of comprehensive income for each of the three years in the period ended August 30, 2014

 

Consolidated balance sheets as of August 30, 2014 and August 31, 2013

 

Consolidated statements of shareholders' equity for each of the three years in the period ended August 30, 2014

 

Consolidated statements of cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended August 30, 2014

 

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

 

Report of Ernst & Young LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

Item 9A. Controls and Procedures

 

Management's Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

Report of Ernst & Young LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

Item 9B. Other Information

 

PART III

 

Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

Item 11. Executive Compensation

 

Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

PART IV

 

Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

   Ex-21 List of Subsidiaries

 

   Ex-23.1 Consent of Ernst & Young LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

   Ex-31.1 Section 302 Certification of CEO

 

   Ex-31.2 Section 302 Certification of CFO

 

   Ex-32.1 Section 906 Certification of CEO

 

   Ex-32.2 Section 906 Certification of CFO

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Our actual results could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Certain factors that might cause such a difference are discussed in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”; “Safe Harbor for Forward Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

GENERAL

 

UniFirst Corporation, a corporation organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1950, together with its subsidiaries, hereunder referred to as “we”, “our”, the “Company”, or “UniFirst”, is one of the largest providers of workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States. We design, manufacture, personalize, rent, clean, deliver, and sell a wide range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, aprons and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments. We also rent and sell industrial wiping products, floor mats, facility service products and other non-garment items, and provide restroom and cleaning supplies and first aid cabinet services and other safety supplies, to a variety of manufacturers, retailers and service companies. We serve businesses of all sizes in numerous industry categories. At certain specialized facilities, we also decontaminate and clean work clothes and other items that may have been exposed to radioactive materials and service special cleanroom protective wear and facilities.

 

Our principal services include providing customers with uniforms and other non-garment items, picking up soiled uniforms or other items on a periodic basis (usually weekly), and delivering, at the same time, cleaned and processed items. We offer uniforms in a wide variety of styles, colors, sizes and fabrics and with personalized emblems selected by the customer. Our centralized services, specialized equipment and economies of scale generally allow us to be more cost effective in providing garment services than customers could be themselves, particularly those customers with high employee turnover rates. During fiscal 2014, we manufactured approximately 70% of the garments we placed in service. These were primarily work pants and shirts manufactured at three of our plants located in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, one plant located in Managua, Nicaragua, as well as at subcontract manufacturers that we utilize to supplement our manufacturing capacity in periods of high demand. Because we design and manufacture a majority of our own uniforms and protective clothes, we can produce custom garment programs for our larger customers, offer a diverse range of such designs within our standard line of garments and better control the quality, price and speed at which we produce such garments. In addition, among our competitors, we believe we have the largest in-house digital image processing capability, allowing us to convert an image provided by a customer into customized, mass producible embroidered emblems, typically within two days.

 

We have six operating segments: US Rental and Cleaning, Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing (“MFG”), Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning (“Specialty Garments”), First Aid and Corporate. The US Rental and Cleaning and Canadian Rental and Cleaning operating segments have been combined to form the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segment. The US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segment purchases, rents, cleans, delivers and sells, uniforms and protective clothing and non-garment items in the United States and Canada. The Corporate operating segment consists of costs associated with our distribution center, sales and marketing, information systems, engineering, materials management, manufacturing planning, finance, budgeting, human resources, other general and administrative costs and interest expense. The revenues generated from the Corporate operating segment represent certain direct sales made directly from our distribution center. The products sold by this operating segment are the same products rented and sold by the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segments. The MFG operating segment designs and manufactures uniforms and non-garment items primarily for the purpose of providing these goods to the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segment. The Specialty Garments operating segment purchases, rents, cleans, delivers and sells, specialty garments and non-garment items primarily for nuclear and cleanroom applications and provides cleanroom cleaning services at limited customer locations. The First Aid operating segment sells first aid cabinet services and other safety supplies as well as maintains wholesale distribution and pill packaging operations. Refer to Note 14, “Segment Reporting”, of our Consolidated Financial Statements for our disclosure of segment information.

 

In fiscal 2014, we generated $1.395 billion in revenue, of which approximately 90% was derived from the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning and Corporate segments. Specialty Garments and First Aid accounted for approximately 7% and 3% of our 2014 revenues, respectively.

 

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

 

We provide our customers with personalized workplace uniforms and protective work clothing in a broad range of styles, colors, sizes and fabrics. Our uniform products include shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, aprons and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments. At certain specialized facilities, we also decontaminate and clean clothes and other items which may have been exposed to radioactive materials and service special cleanroom protective wear and facilities. We also offer non-garment items and services, such as industrial wiping products, floor mats, dry and wet mops, restroom and cleaning supplies and other textile products. 

  

 

We offer our customers a range of garment service options, including full-service rental programs in which garments are cleaned and serviced by us, lease programs in which garments are cleaned and maintained by individual employees and purchase programs to buy garments and related items directly. As part of our rental business, we pick up a customer’s soiled uniforms and/or other items on a periodic basis (usually weekly) and deliver back cleaned and processed replacement items. We believe our centralized services, specialized equipment and economies of scale generally allow us to be more cost effective in providing garment and related services than customers would be by themselves, particularly those customers with high employee turnover rates. Our uniform program is intended not only to help our customers foster greater company identity, but to enhance their corporate image and improve employee safety, productivity and morale. We primarily serve our customers pursuant to written service contracts that range in duration from three to five years.

 

CUSTOMERS

 

We serve businesses of all sizes in numerous industry categories. During each of the past five years, no single customer in our Core Laundry Operations accounted for more than 1% of our revenues. Our typical customers include automobile service centers and dealers, delivery services, food and general merchandise retailers, food processors and service operations, light manufacturers, maintenance facilities, restaurants, service companies, soft and durable goods wholesalers, transportation companies, and others who require employee clothing for image, identification, protection or utility purposes. Among our largest customers of our conventional uniform rental business are divisions, units, regional operations or franchised agencies of major, nationally recognized organizations. With respect to our Specialty Garment segment, typical customers include government agencies, research and development laboratories, high technology companies and utilities operating nuclear reactors. We currently service over 260,000 customer locations in the United States, Canada and Europe from 226 customer service, distribution and manufacturing facilities.

 

MARKETING, SALES, AND CUSTOMER SERVICE

 

We market our products and services to a diverse customer base and to prospects that range across virtually all industry segments. Marketing contact is made through print advertising, direct mail, publicity, trade shows, catalogs, telemarketing, multiple web sites and direct field sales representation. We have built and maintain an extensive, proprietary database of prescreened and qualified business prospects that have been sourced from our various promotional initiatives, including mailers, web site contacts, advertising responses, sales calls and lists purchased from third-party providers. These prospect records serve as a primary targeting resource for our professional sales organization and are constantly updated, expanded and maintained by an in-house team of specialist database qualifiers and managers. To aid in the effective marketing of products and services, we supply sales representatives with an extensive selection of sales aids, brochures, presentation materials and vertical market communications tools. We also provide representatives with detailed on-line profiles of high opportunity markets to educate them to the typical issues, needs and concerns of those markets. This helps establish credibility and aids their ability to deliver value-based solutions.

 

We employ a large team of trained professional sales representatives whose sole function is to market our services to potential customers and develop new accounts. While most of our sales representatives are capable of presenting a full range of service solutions, some are dedicated to developing business for a limited range of products and services or have a specific market focus.

 

For example, in select geographic markets we employ teams of dedicated facility services sales representatives who focus exclusively on developing business for our floor care, restroom and related service programs. We employ specialist executive-level salespeople in our National Account Organization—some who specialize in rental programs and some who specialize in direct sale programs—to target the very largest national companies with known uniform and/or facility services program needs. We believe that effective customer service is the most important element in developing and maintaining our market position. Our commitment to service excellence is reflected throughout our organization. Our route sales representatives are the first line of continuing customer contact, who are supported by local customer service representatives, local service management staff and local operations management leaders, all of whom are focused on addressing the ongoing needs of customers, constantly delivering high-value service and pursuing total customer satisfaction. Our proprietary customer relationship management (“CRM”) information system enables us to respond to customer inquiries or issues within 24 hours and our service personnel are specially trained to handle the daily contact work necessary to effectively manage customer relations.

 

We measure the speed and accuracy of our customer service efforts on a weekly basis and, through our “Customers for Life’’ program, we continuously survey, record and report satisfaction levels as a means of evaluating current performance and highlighting areas for improvement.

 

COMPETITION

 

The uniform rental and sales industry is highly competitive. The principal methods of competition in the industry are the quality of products, the quality of service and price. Our leading competitors include Cintas Corporation, Aramark Corporation and G&K Services, Inc. The remainder of the market, however, is divided among more than 400 smaller businesses, many of which serve one or a limited number of markets or geographic service areas. In addition to our traditional rental competitors, we may increasingly compete in the future with businesses that focus on selling uniforms and other related items. We also compete with industry competitors for acquisitions. 

  

 

MANUFACTURING AND SOURCING

 

We manufactured approximately 70% of all garments which we placed in service during fiscal 2014. These were primarily work pants and shirts manufactured at three of our plants located in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, one plant located in Managua, Nicaragua, as well as at subcontract manufacturers that we utilize to supplement our manufacturing capacity in periods of high demand. The balance of the garments used in our programs are purchased from a variety of industry suppliers. While we currently acquire the raw materials with which we produce our garments from a limited number of suppliers, we believe that such materials are readily available from other sources. To date, we have experienced no significant difficulty in obtaining any of our raw materials or supplies. Currently, we also manufacture approximately 73% of the mats we place in service at our plant in Cave City, Arkansas.

 

EMPLOYEES

 

At August 30, 2014, we employed approximately 12,000 persons. Approximately 2% of our United States employees are represented by a union pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. We consider our employee relations to be good.

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

 

Our executive officers are as follows:

 

NAME

AGE

POSITION

Ronald D. Croatti

 71 

Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Steven S. Sintros

41

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Cynthia Croatti

 59 

Executive Vice President and Treasurer

Bruce P. Boynton

 66 

Senior Vice President, Operations

David A. DiFillippo

 57 

Senior Vice President, Operations

David M. Katz

51

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

 

The principal occupation and positions for the past five years of our executive officers named above are as follows:

 

Ronald D. Croatti joined our Company in 1965. Mr. Croatti became Director of our Company in 1982, Vice Chairman of the Board in 1986 and has served as Chief Executive Officer since 1991. He has also served as President since 1995 and Chairman of the Board since 2002. Mr. Croatti has overall responsibility for the management of our Company.

 

Steven S. Sintros joined our Company in 2004. Mr. Sintros is a Senior Vice President and has served as our Chief Financial Officer since January 2009. He has primary responsibility for overseeing the financial functions of our Company, as well as our information systems department. Mr. Sintros served as a Finance Manager in 2004 and Corporate Controller from 2005 until January 2009.

 

Cynthia Croatti joined our Company in 1980. Ms. Croatti has served as Director since 1995, Treasurer since 1982 and Executive Vice President since 2001. In addition, she has primary responsibility for overseeing the human resources and purchasing functions of our Company.

 

Bruce P. Boynton joined our Company in 1976. Mr. Boynton has served as Senior Vice President, Operations since 2001, is the chief operating officer for our Company’s Canadian operations and has primary responsibility for overseeing the operations of certain regions in the United States. From 1986 through 2000, Mr. Boynton served as Vice President, Operations.

 

David A. DiFillippo joined our Company in 1979. Mr. DiFillippo has served as Senior Vice President, Operations since 2002 and has primary responsibility for overseeing the operations of certain regions in the United States. From 2000 through 2002, Mr. DiFillippo served as Vice President, Central Rental Group and, prior to 2000, he served as a Regional General Manager.

 

David M. Katz joined our Company in 2009. Mr. Katz is a Senior Vice President and has primary responsibility for overseeing the sales and marketing functions of our Company. Prior to joining our Company, Mr. Katz worked for DHL Express where he served as the Northeast Vice President of Field Sales, from 2003 to 2007, the Northeast Vice President of National Account Sales from 2007 to 2008 and the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Northeast from 2008 until 2009.

 

Ronald D. Croatti and Cynthia Croatti are siblings.

   

 

ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS

 

We, like our competitors, are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations governing, among other things, air emissions, wastewater discharges, and the generation, handling, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes and other substances. In particular, industrial laundries currently use and must dispose of detergent waste water and other residues, and, in the past, used perchloroethylene and other dry cleaning solvents. We are attentive to the environmental concerns surrounding the disposal of these materials and have through the years taken measures to avoid their improper disposal. Over the years, we have settled, or contributed to the settlement of, actions or claims brought against us relating to the disposal of hazardous materials and there can be no assurance that we will not have to expend material amounts to remediate the consequences of any such disposal in the future. Further, under environmental laws, an owner or lessee of real estate may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of certain hazardous or toxic substances located on or in or emanating from such property, as well as related costs of investigation and property damage. Such laws often impose liability without regard to whether the owner or lessee knew of or was responsible for the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. There can be no assurance that acquired or leased locations have been operated in compliance with environmental laws and regulations or that future uses or conditions will not result in the imposition of liability upon us under such laws or expose us to third-party actions such as tort suits. We continue to address environmental conditions under terms of consent orders negotiated with the applicable environmental authorities or otherwise with respect to sites located in, or related to, Woburn, Massachusetts, Somerville, Massachusetts, Springfield, Massachusetts, Uvalde, Texas, Stockton, California, three sites related to former operations in Williamstown, Vermont, as well as sites located in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina and Landover, Maryland. For additional discussion refer to “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the risk factor set forth in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Our nuclear garment decontamination facilities are licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or in certain cases, by the applicable state agency, and are subject to regulation by federal, state and local authorities. In the past, scrutiny and regulation of nuclear facilities and related services have resulted in the suspension of operations at certain nuclear facilities served by us or disruptions in our ability to service such facilities. There can be no assurance that such scrutiny and regulation will not lead to the shut-down of such facilities or otherwise cause material disruptions in our garment decontamination business.

 

AVAILABLE INFORMATION

 

We make available free of charge our Proxy Statement, Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, including exhibits and any amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are available on our website at www.unifirst.com. In addition, you may request a copy of our filings, excluding exhibits, by contacting our Investor Relations group at (978) 658-8888 or at UniFirst Corporation, 68 Jonspin Road, Wilmington, MA 01887. Information included on our website is not deemed to be incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or the documents incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

The statements in this section, as well as statements described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, or in other SEC filings, describe risks that could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and the trading price of our securities. These risks are not the only risks that we face. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could also be materially affected by additional factors that are not presently known to us or that we currently consider to be immaterial to our operations.

 

SAFE HARBOR FOR FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K and any documents incorporated by reference may contain forward looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and any documents incorporated by reference are subject to the safe harbor created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward looking statements may be identified by words such as “estimates,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “believes,” “seeks,” “could,” “should,” “may,” “will,” or the negative versions thereof, and similar expressions and by the context in which they are used. Such forward looking statements are based upon our current expectations and speak only as of the date made. Such statements are highly dependent upon a variety of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such forward looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, uncertainties caused by the continuing adverse worldwide economic conditions, uncertainties regarding our ability to consummate and successfully integrate acquired businesses, uncertainties regarding any existing or newly-discovered expenses and liabilities related to environmental compliance and remediation, any adverse outcome of pending or future contingencies or claims, including suits related to the New England Compound Center matter, our ability to compete successfully without any significant degradation in our margin rates, seasonal and quarterly fluctuations in business levels, our ability to preserve positive labor relationships and avoid becoming the target of corporate labor unionization campaigns that could disrupt our business, the effect of currency fluctuations on our results of operations and financial condition, our dependence on third parties to supply us with raw materials, any loss of key management or other personnel, increased costs as a result of any future changes in federal or state laws, rules and regulations or governmental interpretation of such laws, rules and regulations, uncertainties regarding the price levels of natural gas, electricity, fuel and labor, the impact of adverse economic conditions and the current tight credit markets on our customers and such customers’ workforce, the level and duration of workforce reductions by our customers, the continuing increase in domestic healthcare costs, including the ultimate impact of the Affordable Care Act, demand and prices for our products and services, rampant criminal activity and instability in Mexico where our principal garment manufacturing plants are located, our ability to properly and efficiently design, construct, implement and operate our new CRM computer system, interruptions or failures of our information technology systems, including as a result of cyber-attacks, additional professional and internal costs necessary for compliance with recent and proposed future changes in Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Stock Exchange and accounting rules, strikes and unemployment levels, our efforts to evaluate and potentially reduce internal costs, economic and other developments associated with the war on terrorism and its impact on the economy and general economic conditions. We undertake no obligation to update any forward looking statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which they are made.

   

 

RISKS RELATING TO OUR BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

 

We face intense competition within our industry, which may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 

The uniform rental and sales industry is highly competitive. The principal methods of competition in the industry are quality of products, quality of service and price. Our leading competitors include Cintas Corporation, Aramark Corporation and G&K Services, Inc. The remainder of the market, however, is divided among more than 400 smaller businesses, many of which serve one or a limited number of markets or geographic service areas. In addition to our traditional rental competitors, we may increasingly compete in the future with businesses that focus on selling uniforms and other related items, including single-use disposable garments for use in the nuclear industry. Increased competition may result in price reductions, reduced gross margins and loss of market share, any of which could have a material effect on our results of operations and financial condition. We also compete with industry competitors for acquisitions, which has the effect of increasing the price for acquisitions and reducing the number of acquisition candidates available to us. If we pay higher prices for businesses we acquire, our returns on investment and profitability may be reduced.

 

Adverse economic and business conditions continue to affect our customer base and may continue to negatively impact our sales and operating results.

 

We supply uniform services to many industries that have been subject to adverse economic and business conditions resulting in shifting employment levels, changes in worker productivity, uncertainty regarding the impacts of rehiring and shifts to offshore manufacturing. As a result, many of our customers have reduced worker headcounts. The economic hardships among our customer base have also caused, and may continue to cause, some of our customers to restrict expenditures or even cease to conduct business. All of these factors have, and are likely in the future to continue to have, the effect of reducing the number of employees utilizing our uniform services, which adversely affects our sales and results of operations. The current worldwide economic uncertainties and weakness may negatively impact our revenues and operating performance in fiscal 2015 and beyond due to the impact on spending plans and employment levels of our customers and sales prospects.

 

The expenses we incur to comply with environmental regulations, including costs associated with potential environmental remediation, may prove to be significant and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 

We, like our competitors, are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations governing, among other things, air emissions, wastewater discharges, and the generation, handling, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes and other substances. In particular, industrial laundries currently use and must dispose of detergent waste water and other residues, and, in the past, used perchloroethylene and other dry cleaning solvents. We are attentive to the environmental concerns surrounding the disposal of these materials and have, through the years, taken measures to avoid their improper disposal. Over the years, we have settled, or contributed to the settlement of, actions or claims brought against us relating to the disposal of hazardous materials and there can be no assurance that we will not have to expend material amounts to remediate the consequences of any such disposal in the future. Further, under environmental laws, an owner or lessee of real estate may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of certain hazardous or toxic substances located on or in or emanating from such property, as well as related costs of investigation and property damage. Such laws often impose liability without regard to whether the owner or lessee knew of or was responsible for the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. There can be no assurance that acquired or leased locations have been operated in compliance with environmental laws and regulations or that future uses or conditions will not result in the imposition of liability upon us under such laws or expose us to third-party actions such as tort suits.

 

We continue to address environmental conditions under terms of consent orders negotiated with the applicable environmental authorities or otherwise with respect to sites located in or related to Woburn, Massachusetts, Somerville, Massachusetts, Springfield, Massachusetts, Uvalde, Texas, Stockton, California, three sites related to former operations in Williamstown, Vermont, as well as sites located in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina and Landover, Maryland.

 

 

We have accrued certain costs related to the sites described above as it has been determined that the costs are probable and can be reasonably estimated. We have potential exposure related to a parcel of land (theCentral Area) related to the Woburn, Massachusetts site cited above. Currently, the consent decree for the Woburn site does not define or require any remediation work in the Central Area. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) has provided us and other signatories to the consent decree with comments on the design and implementation of groundwater and soil remedies at the Woburn site and investigation of environmental conditions in the Central Area. We, and other signatories, have implemented and proposed to do additional work at the Woburn site but many of EPA’s comments remain to be resolved. We are also in discussions with EPA concerning its invoices for oversight costs with respect to the Woburn site and the Central Area. We have implemented mitigation measures and continue to monitor environmental conditions at the Somerville, Massachusetts site. We also expect to incur monitoring and mitigation costs associated with the planned construction of a transit station in the area of the Somerville site.

 

On a quarterly basis, we assess each of our environmental sites to determine whether the costs of investigation and remediation of environmental conditions are probable and can be reasonably estimated as well as the adequacy of our accruals with respect to such costs. There can be no assurance that our accruals with respect to our environmental sites will be sufficient or that the costs of remediation and investigation will not substantially exceed our accruals as new facts, circumstances or estimates arise.

 

Our nuclear garment decontamination facilities are licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or in certain cases, by the applicable state agency, and are subject to regulation by federal, state and local authorities. In the past, scrutiny and regulation of nuclear facilities and related services have resulted in the suspension of operations at certain nuclear facilities served by us or disruptions in our ability to service such facilities. There can be no assurance that such scrutiny and regulation will not lead to the shut-down of such facilities or otherwise cause material disruptions in our garment decontamination business.

 

In addition, our nuclear garment decontamination operations are subject to asset retirement obligations related to the decommissioning of our nuclear laundry facilities. We recognize as a liability the present value of the estimated future costs to decommission these facilities. The estimated liability is based on historical experience in decommissioning nuclear laundry facilities, estimated useful lives of the underlying assets, external vendor estimates as to the cost to decommission these assets in the future, and federal and state regulatory requirements. No assurances can be given that these accruals will be sufficient or that the costs of such decommissioning will not substantially exceed such accruals, as our facts, circumstances or estimates change, including changes in the Company’s estimated useful lives of the underlying assets, estimated dates of decommissioning, changes in decommissioning costs, changes in federal or state regulatory guidance on the decommissioning of such facilities, or other changes in estimates.

 

In addition to contingencies and claims relating to environmental compliance matters, we may from time to time be subject to legal proceedings and claims related to our business operations which may adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.  

 

In addition to contingencies and claims relating to environmental compliance matters, we are subject from time to time to legal proceedings and claims arising from the conduct of our business operations, including personal injury claims, customer contract matters and employment claims. Certain of these claims are typically not covered by our available insurance. In addition, claims occasionally result in significant investigation and litigation expenses and, if successful, may result in material losses to us. Certain claims may also result in significant adverse publicity against us. As a consequence, successful claims against us not covered by our available insurance coverage could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation.

 

As previously disclosed, we are a defendant in hundreds of lawsuits relating to New England Compounding Center’s (“NECC”) highly-publicized compounding and sale of tainted methylprednisolone acetate, which reportedly resulted in a widespread outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections. It has been reported that over 60 people died and another approximately 700 people were allegedly seriously injured as a result of this outbreak. These suits against us relate to the limited, once-a-month cleaning services we provided to portions of NECC’s cleanroom facilities.

 

In February 2013, suits against NECC were transferred to a multi-district litigation (“MDL”) proceeding in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts. The MDL court appointed the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (“PSC”) for the NECC litigation.

 

On November 5, 2013, a Master Complaint was filed in the NECC MDL proceeding naming us as one of numerous defendants in the matter. Individual plaintiffs were able to piggy-back on the Master Complaint by filing a Short Form Complaint to initiate legal actions against one or more of the defendants named in the Master Complaint. As of October 17, 2014, we have either received demand letters from or been named as a defendant in suits relating to approximately 650 patients who allegedly received the tainted drug from NECC. We have notified our insurers of these claims and they have issued reservation of rights letters with respect to coverage of these claims. We are in continuing discussions with our insurers concerning coverage matters. In early October 2014, we, together with our insurers, engaged in a mediation with the PSC in an attempt to settle these suits. The parties were unable to reach a settlement in this mediation. Although settlement discussions may resume in the future, no assurances can be given that any settlement will be reached in this matter. At the present time, we believe that if we are able to reach a satisfactory settlement in this matter, our insurance coverage with respect to these claims should be sufficient. However, if we do not reach a satisfactory settlement and are found to be liable with respect to claims brought against us relating to NECC that are not covered by our insurance or exceed such insurance coverage, we may incur liabilities that are material to our financial condition and operating results. While we are unable to ascertain the ultimate outcome of this matter, based on the information currently available, we believe that a loss with respect to this matter is neither probable nor remote. Given the uncertainty regarding the possibility of any settlement occurring, and the uncertainty associated with any other resolution of these suits, we are unable to reasonably assess an estimate or range of estimates of any potential losses.

 

 

Recent economic trends could adversely affect our financial performance.

 

Economic downturns and declines in consumption in our markets may affect the levels of both our sales and profitability.  The domestic and global economies and financial and credit markets continue to experience declines or slow growth, general uncertainty and high unemployment. In addition, there continues to be diminished liquidity and credit availability.  We believe these conditions have not materially impacted our financial position or liquidity as of August 30, 2014.  However, we could be negatively impacted if these conditions continue for a sustained period of time, or if there is further deterioration in financial markets and major economies.  The current tight credit conditions in financial markets may continue to adversely affect the ability of our customers and suppliers to obtain financing, which could result in a decrease in, or cancellation of, our services.  In addition, weakening economic conditions and outlook may result in a further decline in the level of our customers’ spending that could adversely affect our results of operations and liquidity.  We are unable to predict the likely duration and severity of the current disruption, weakness and uncertainty in the domestic and global financial markets, including the current economic malaise in Europe, geopolitical disruptions in the Ukraine and the Middle East and the related adverse economic conditions.

 

Our failure to implement successfully our acquisition strategy and to grow our business could adversely affect our ability to increase our revenues and could negatively impact our profitability.

 

As part of our growth strategy, we intend to continue to actively pursue additional acquisition opportunities. However, as discussed above, we compete with others within our industry for suitable acquisition candidates. This competition may increase the price for acquisitions and reduce the number of acquisition candidates available to us. Moreover, the current economic weakness has resulted in, and may continue to result in, the sale of fewer target businesses at prices consistent with the current market weakness. As a result, acquisition candidates may not be available to us in the future on favorable terms. Even if we are able to acquire businesses on favorable terms, managing growth through acquisition is a difficult process that includes integration and training of personnel, combining plant and operating procedures and additional matters related to the integration of acquired businesses within our existing organization. Unanticipated issues related to integration may result in additional expense or in disruption to our operations, either of which could negatively impact our ability to achieve anticipated benefits. While we believe we will be able to fully integrate acquired businesses, we can give no assurance that we will be successful in this regard. 

  

Growth of our business will likely require us to increase our work force, the scope of our operating and financial systems and the geographic area of our operations. We believe this growth will increase our operating complexity and the level of responsibility for both existing and new management personnel. Managing and sustaining our growth and expansion may require substantial enhancements to our operational and financial systems and controls, as well as additional administrative, operational and financial resources. There can be no assurance that we will be able to manage our expanding operations successfully or that we will be able to maintain or accelerate our growth, and any failure to do so could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 

In order to finance such acquisitions, we may need to obtain additional funds either through public or private financings, including bank and other secured and unsecured borrowings and the issuance of debt or equity securities. There can be no assurance that such financings would be available to us on reasonable terms or that any future issuances of securities in connection with acquisitions will not be dilutive to our shareholders.

 

If we are unable to preserve positive labor relationships or become the target of corporate labor unionization campaigns, the resulting labor unrest could disrupt our business by impairing our ability to produce and deliver our products.

 

We employ approximately 12,000 persons. Approximately 2% of our United States employees are represented by a union pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. Competitors within our industry have been the target of corporate unionization campaigns by multiple labor unions. While our management believes that our employee relations are good, we cannot assure you that we will not experience pressure from labor unions or become the target of campaigns similar to those faced by our competitors. The potential for unionization could increase if the United States Congress passes federal “card check” legislation. If we do encounter pressure from labor unions, any resulting labor unrest could disrupt our business by impairing our ability to produce and deliver our products. In addition, significant union representation would require us to negotiate wages, salaries, benefits and other terms with many of our employees collectively and could adversely affect our results of operations by increasing our labor costs or otherwise restricting our ability to maximize the efficiency of our operations.

 

We may incur unexpected cost increases due to rising healthcare costs, the Affordable Care Act and other labor costs.

 

The cost of healthcare that we provide to our employees has grown over the last few years at a rate in excess of our revenue growth and as a result has negatively impacted our operating results. In fiscal 2015, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) will require us to modify one of the healthcare plans we provide to our employees. In addition, we will incur additional costs related to ACA transitional reinsurance fees that will be paid in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017. We expect that the required modifications to our healthcare plan and the incurrence of such fees will increase our cost of providing healthcare to our employees. There remains considerable uncertainty as to how significant the increase to the healthcare costs will be, including the effect of the plan modifications on the behavior of our employees as well as the potential for increased enrollment in our plans. In addition, other legislative initiatives may also result in higher labor costs. We endeavor to offer attractive wages and benefits to our employees. To continue to do so in the future may cause us to incur unexpected increases in overall labor costs, which could adversely affect our results of operation and financial condition.

 

 

Our business may be adversely affected by global, national, regional or industry specific economic slowdowns.

 

Global, national, regional or industry specific economic slowdowns, including the current economic malaise in Europe, as well as events or conditions in a particular area, such as adverse weather and other factors, may adversely affect our operating results. In addition, increases in interest rates that may lead to a decline in economic activity, while simultaneously resulting in higher interest expense to us under our credit facility, may adversely affect our operating results.

 

Our failure to retain our current customers and renew our existing customer contracts could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Our success depends on our ability to retain our current customers and renew our existing customer contracts. Our ability to do so generally depends on a variety of factors, including the quality, price and responsiveness of our services, as well as our ability to market these services effectively and to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. In addition, renewal rates are generally adversely affected by the difficult economic and business conditions. We cannot assure you that we will be able to renew existing customer contracts at the same or higher rates or that our current customers will not turn to competitors, cease operations, elect to self-operate or terminate contracts with us. The failure to renew a significant number of our existing contracts would have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Increases in fuel and energy costs could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 

The price of fuel and energy needed to run our vehicles and equipment is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events outside our control, including geopolitical developments, supply and demand for oil and gas, actions by OPEC and other oil and gas producers, war and unrest in oil producing countries, regional production patterns, limits on refining capacities, natural disasters and environmental concerns. Any increase in fuel and energy costs could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Fluctuations in the nuclear portion of our Specialty Garments segment could disproportionately impact our revenue and net income and create volatility in the price of our Common Stock.

 

Our nuclear decontamination business is affected by shut-downs, outages and clean-ups of the nuclear facilities we service. We are not able to control or predict with certainty when such shut-downs, outages and clean-ups will occur. In addition, our nuclear decontamination business tends to generate more revenue in the first and third fiscal quarters, which is when nuclear power plants typically schedule their plant outages and refuelings and thereby increase nuclear garment utilization. Moreover, a significant percentage of this segment’s revenues are generated from a limited number of nuclear power plant operators. This concentration subjects this business to significant risks and may result in greater volatility in this segment’s results of operations. Fluctuations in our nuclear decontamination business could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

   

Our international business results are influenced by currency fluctuations and other risks that could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 

A portion of our sales is derived from international markets. Revenue denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar represented approximately 9.8%, 9.7% and 8.9% of total consolidated revenues for each of fiscal 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The operating results of our international subsidiaries are translated into U.S. dollars and such results are affected by movements in foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar. The strength of the U.S. dollar has generally increased recently as compared to other currencies, which has had, and may continue to have, an adverse effect on our operating results as reported in U.S. dollars. Our international operations are also subject to other risks, including the requirement to comply with changing and conflicting national and local regulatory requirements; potential difficulties in staffing and labor disputes; managing and obtaining support and distribution for local operations; credit risk or financial condition of local customers; potential imposition of restrictions on investments; potentially adverse tax consequences, including imposition or increase of withholding and other taxes on remittances and other payments by subsidiaries; foreign exchange controls; and local political and social conditions. There can be no assurance that the foregoing factors will not have an adverse effect on our international operations or on our consolidated financial condition and results of operations. We own and operate manufacturing facilities in Mexico and Nicaragua. Violence, crime and instability in Mexico has had, and may continue to have, an adverse effect on our operations, including the hijacking of our trucks and the implementation of security measures to protect our employees. We are not insured against such criminal attacks and there can be no assurance that losses that could result from an attack on our trucks or our personnel would not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Operations in developing nations present several additional risks, including greater fluctuation in currencies relative to the U.S. dollar, economic and governmental instability, civil disturbances, volatility in gross domestic production, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act compliance issues and nationalization and expropriation of private assets.

 

Adverse global financial and economic conditions may result in impairment of our goodwill and intangibles.

 

Our market capitalization, from time to time, has experienced volatility due in part to turbulent economic conditions and disruption in the global equity and credit markets. Under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“US GAAP”), we may be required to record an impairment charge if changes in circumstances or events indicate that the carrying values of our goodwill and intangible assets exceed their fair value and are not recoverable. Any significant and other-than-temporary decrease in our market capitalization could be an indicator, when considered together with other factors, that the carrying values of our goodwill and intangible assets exceed their fair value, which may result in our recording an impairment charge. We are unable to predict economic trends, but we continue to monitor the impact of changes in economic and financial conditions on our operations and on the carrying value of our goodwill and intangible assets. Should the value of our acquired goodwill or one or more of our acquired intangibles become impaired, our consolidated earnings and net worth may be materially adversely affected.

 

 

Our failure to properly and efficiently design, construct, implement and operate our new customer relationship management computer system could adversely affect our operations and financial performance.

 

We are in the process of modernizing our customer relationship management computer system. The new system will combine enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) solutions and custom-built applications to address, among other areas, account management, billing and customer service. The new system is intended to improve functionality and information flow and increase automation in servicing our customers. As with any major new computer system that includes custom applications, there are risks inherent in the cost estimates, design, construction, implementation and operation of our new CRM system. These risks include the potential failures to properly design the system, to efficiently and economically construct and implement the system and to effectively operate the system. We are using well-regarded third-party consultants to assist us in this process. While we believe that our new CRM system will provide the anticipated information technology and customer service enhancements we expect, no assurances can be given in this regard. This project has experienced delays in completion from our original timetable. The failure to properly, efficiently and economically complete and operate the new system on a timely basis could disrupt our operations and adversely affect our financial results.

 

If our information technology systems suffer interruptions or failures, including as a result of cyber-attacks, our business operations could be disrupted.

 

Our information technology systems serve an important role in the efficient operation of our business. The failure of these information technology systems to perform as we anticipate could disrupt our business and negatively impact our results of operations. In addition, our information technology systems could be damaged or cease to function properly due to any number of causes, such as catastrophic events, power outages, security breaches, computer viruses or cyber-based attacks. While we have contingency plans in place to prevent or mitigate the impact of these events, if such events were to occur and our disaster recovery plans do not effectively address the issues on a timely basis, we could suffer interruptions in our ability to manage our operations and service our customers, and we may be required to make a significant investment to fix or replace our information technology systems, each of which may have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results. In addition, if customer or our proprietary information is compromised by a security breach or cyber-attack, it could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Failure to comply with the other state and federal regulations to which we are subject may result in penalties or costs that could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Our business is subject to various other state and federal regulations, including employment laws and regulations, minimum wage requirements, overtime requirements, working condition requirements, citizenship requirements, healthcare insurance mandates and other laws and regulations. Any appreciable increase in the statutory minimum wage rate, income or overtime pay, costs of complying with healthcare insurance mandates, changes in OSHA requirements, changes in environmental compliance requirements, or changes to immigration laws and citizenship requirements would likely result in an increase in our labor costs and/or contribute to a shortage of available labor and such cost increase or labor shortage, or the penalties for failing to comply with such statutory minimums or regulations, could have an adverse effect on our business, liquidity and results of operations.

 

Our business may be subject to seasonal and quarterly fluctuations.

 

Historically, our revenues and operating results have varied from quarter to quarter and are expected to continue to fluctuate in the future. In addition, our operating results historically have been seasonally lower during the second and fourth fiscal quarters than during the other quarters of the fiscal year. We incur various costs in integrating or establishing newly acquired businesses or start-up operations, and the profitability of a new location is generally expected to be lower in the initial period of its operation than in subsequent periods. Start-up operations in particular lack the support of an existing customer base and require a significantly longer period to develop sales opportunities and meet targeted operating results.

 

These factors, among others, may cause our results of operations in some future quarters to be below the expectations of securities analysts and investors, which could have an adverse effect on the market price of our Common Stock.

 

Loss of our key management or other personnel could adversely impact our business.

 

Our success is largely dependent on the skills, experience and efforts of our senior management and certain other key personnel. If, for any reason, one or more senior executives or key personnel were not to remain active in our Company, our results of operations could be adversely affected. Our future success also depends upon our ability to attract and retain qualified managers and technical and marketing personnel, as well as sufficient numbers of hourly workers. There is competition in the market for the services of such qualified personnel and hourly workers and our failure to attract and retain such personnel or workers could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

 

We depend on third parties to supply us with raw materials and ship a large portion of our products, and our results of operations could be adversely affected if we are unable to obtain adequate raw materials and ship our products in a timely manner.

 

We manufactured approximately 70% of all garments which we placed in service during fiscal 2014. These were primarily work pants and shirts manufactured at three of our plants located in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, one plant located in Managua, Nicaragua, as well as at subcontract manufacturers that we utilize to supplement our manufacturing capacity in periods of high demand. The balance of the garments used in our programs are purchased from a variety of industry suppliers. While we currently acquire the raw materials with which we produce our garments from a limited number of suppliers, we believe that such materials are readily available from other sources. To date, we have experienced no significant difficulty in obtaining any of our raw materials or supplies. However, if we were to experience difficulty obtaining any of our raw materials from such suppliers and were unable to obtain new materials or supplies from other industry suppliers, it could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

We utilize United Parcel Service and other common carriers to ship a large portion of our products. Strikes or other service interruptions affecting such carriers could impair our ability to deliver products on a timely and cost-effective basis. In addition, because we typically bear the cost of shipment to our customers, any increase in shipping rates could adversely affect our operating results.

 

Unexpected events could disrupt our operations and adversely affect our operating results. 

 

Unexpected events, including, without limitation, fires at facilities, natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornados, public health emergencies, war or terrorist activities, unplanned utility outages, supply disruptions, failure of equipment or information systems, temporary or long-term disruption of our computer systems, or changes in laws and/or regulations impacting our business, could adversely affect our operating results. These events could result in disruption of customer service, physical damage to one or more key operating facilities, the temporary closure of one or more key operating facilities or the temporary disruption of information systems. In addition, the destruction or temporary loss of our distribution facility in Owensboro, Kentucky would have a material adverse effect on our operations and financial results.

   

Changes in or new interpretations of the governmental regulatory framework may affect our contract terms and may reduce our sales or profits.

 

A portion of our total consolidated revenues is derived from business with U.S. federal, state and local governments and agencies. Changes or new interpretations in, or changes in the enforcement of, the statutory or regulatory framework applicable to services provided under governmental contracts or bidding procedures could result in fewer new contracts or contract renewals, modifications to the methods we apply to price government contracts or in contract terms of shorter duration than we have historically experienced, any of which could result in lower sales or profits than we have historically achieved, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

 

The price of our Common Stock may be highly volatile, which could result in significant price declines.

 

The price of our Common Stock may experience significant volatility. Such volatility may be caused by fluctuations in our operating results, changes in earnings estimated by investment analysts, the number of shares of our Common Stock traded each day, the degree of success we achieve in implementing our business and growth strategies, changes in business or regulatory conditions affecting us, our customers or our competitors and other factors. In addition, the New York Stock Exchange historically has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that often have been unrelated to, or disproportionate to, the operating performance of its listed companies. These fluctuations, as well as general economic, political and market conditions, may adversely affect the market price of our Common Stock.

 

We are controlled by our principal shareholders, and our other shareholders may be unable to affect the outcome of shareholder voting.

 

As of October 17, 2014, to the Company’s knowledge, the members of the Croatti family owned, directly or indirectly, in the aggregate approximately 305,266 shares of our Common Stock and approximately 4,860,519 shares of our Class B Common Stock, which represents approximately 25.8% of the aggregate number of outstanding shares of our Common Stock and Class B Common Stock, but approximately 76.7% of the combined voting power of the outstanding shares of our Common Stock and Class B Common Stock. As a result, the members of the Croatti family, acting with other family members, could effectively control most matters requiring approval by our shareholders, including the election of a majority of the directors. While historically the members of the Croatti family have individually voted their respective shares of Class B Common Stock in the same manner, there is no contractual understanding requiring this and there is no assurance that the family members will continue to individually vote their shares of Class B Common Stock in the same manner. This voting control by the members of the Croatti family, together with certain provisions of our by-laws and articles of organization, could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of our Company that would otherwise be beneficial to our public shareholders.

 

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

As of August 30, 2014, we owned or leased approximately 250 facilities containing an aggregate of approximately 6.2 million square feet located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Nicaragua. We owned 119 of these facilities, containing approximately 4.9 million square feet. These facilities include our 320,000 square foot Owensboro, Kentucky distribution center and almost all of our industrial laundry processing plants. We believe our industrial laundry facilities are among the most modern in the industry.

 

We own substantially all of the machinery and equipment used in our operations. We believe that our facilities and our production, cleaning and decontamination equipment have been well maintained and are adequate for our present needs. We also own a fleet of approximately 3,200 delivery vans, trucks and other vehicles.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

From time to time, we are subject to legal proceedings and claims arising from the current conduct of our business operations, including personal injury, customer contract, employment claims and environmental matters as described in our Consolidated Financial Statements. We maintain insurance coverage providing indemnification against many of such claims, and we do not expect that we will sustain any material loss as a result thereof.

 

In addition, we, like our competitors, are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations governing, among other things, air emissions, wastewater discharges, and the generation, handling, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes and other substances. In particular, industrial laundries currently use and must dispose of detergent waste water and other residues, and, in the past, used perchloroethylene and other dry cleaning solvents. Over the years, we have settled, or contributed to the settlement of, actions or claims brought against us relating to the disposal of hazardous materials and there can be no assurance that we will not have to expend material amounts to remediate the consequences of any such disposal in the future. Further, under environmental laws, an owner or lessee of real estate may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of certain hazardous or toxic substances located on or in or emanating from such property, as well as related costs of investigation and property damage. Such laws often impose liability without regard to whether the owner or lessee knew of or was responsible for the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. There can be no assurance that acquired or leased locations have been operated in compliance with environmental laws and regulations or that future uses or conditions will not result in the imposition of liability upon us under such laws or expose us to third-party actions such as tort suits. Refer to Note 10, “Commitments and Contingencies”, of our Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion. 

  

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not Applicable.

 

PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

COMMON STOCK INFORMATION

 

Our Common Stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “UNF”, while our Class B Common Stock is not publicly traded. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low closing prices of our Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange, and the dividends per share paid on our Common Stock and Class B Common Stock.

 

   

Price Per Share

   

Dividends Per Share

 
   

High

   

Low

   

Common Stock

   

Class B

Common Stock

 

Year ended August 30, 2014

                               

First Quarter

  $ 104.90     $ 96.02     $ 0.0375     $ 0.0300  

Second Quarter

    116.00       98.92       0.0375       0.0300  

Third Quarter

    112.71       93.40       0.0375       0.0300  

Fourth Quarter

    108.97       96.86       0.0375       0.0300  

 

 

   

Price Per Share

   

Dividends Per Share

 
   

High

   

Low

   

Common Stock

   

Class B

Common Stock

 

Year ended August 31, 2013

                               

First Quarter

  $ 71.52     $ 63.51     $ 0.0375     $ 0.0300  

Second Quarter

    85.20       70.27       0.0375       0.0300  

Third Quarter

    96.57       82.82       0.0375       0.0300  

Fourth Quarter

    102.83       90.22       0.0375       0.0300  

 

The approximate number of shareholders of record of our Common Stock and Class B Common Stock as of October 17, 2014 was 62 and 25, respectively. We believe that the number of beneficial owners of our Common Stock is substantially greater than the number of record holders because a large portion of our Common Stock is held of record in broker “street names”.

 

We have paid regular quarterly dividends since 1983 and intend to continue such policy subject to, among other factors, our earnings, financial condition, capital requirements and tax law changes. No dividends will be payable unless declared by our Board of Directors and then only to the extent funds are legally available for the payment of such dividends. In the event that our Board of Directors votes to pay a dividend, our Common Stock must receive a dividend equal to no less than 125% of any dividend paid on the Class B Common Stock. On July 8, 2014, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.0375 and $0.0300 per share on our Common Stock and Class B Common Stock, respectively, which was paid on October 1, 2014 to shareholders of record on September 10, 2014.

 

The following table sets forth information concerning our equity compensation plans as of August 30, 2014.

 

   

Equity Compensation Plan Information

 

Plan category

 

Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options and stock appreciation rights

   

Weighted average exercise price of outstanding options and stock appreciation rights

   

Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plan (excluding securities referenced in column (a))

 
   

(a)

                 

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders

    618,602     $ 61.86       236,510  

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders

       

N/A

       

Total

    618,602     $ 61.86       236,510  

  

  

Stock Performance Graph

 

Set forth below is a line graph comparing the yearly percentage change in the cumulative total shareholder return on our Common Stock, based on the market price of our Common Stock, with the cumulative total shareholder return of a peer group and of companies within the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index, in each case assuming reinvestment of dividends. The calculation of cumulative total shareholder return assumes a $100 investment in our Common Stock, the peer group and the S&P 500 Stock Index on August 31, 2009. The peer group is composed of Cintas Corporation and G & K Services, Inc.

 

 

 

 

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8.

 

The selected consolidated balance sheet data set forth below as of August 30, 2014 and August 31, 2013 and the selected consolidated income statement data for the three years in the period ended August 30, 2014 are derived from our audited Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. All other selected consolidated financial data set forth below are derived from our audited financial statements not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Current accounting guidance requires the income per share for each class of common stock to be calculated assuming 100% of our earnings are distributed as dividends to each class of common stock based on their respective dividend rights. Our Common Stock has a 25% dividend preference to our Class B Common Stock. The Class B Common Stock, which has ten votes per share as opposed to one vote per share for the Common Stock, is not freely transferable but may be converted at any time on a one-for-one basis into Common Stock at the option of the holder of the Class B Common Stock.  

 

Five Year Financial Summary

UniFirst Corporation and Subsidiaries

 

Fiscal Year Ended August

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

2014

   

2013

   

2012

   

2011

   

2010

 

Selected Balance Sheet Data:

                                       

Total assets

  $ 1,424,161     $ 1,374,862     $ 1,240,534     $ 1,141,520     $ 1,092,295  

Notes payable and long-term debt

  $ 7,859     $ 111,408     $ 106,986     $ 120,296     $ 181,464  

Shareholders' equity

  $ 1,134,459     $ 1,013,398     $ 896,925     $ 797,942     $ 708,050  
                                         

Selected Income Statement Data:

                                       

Revenues

  $ 1,394,897     $ 1,355,515     $ 1,256,289     $ 1,134,126     $ 1,025,939  

Depreciation and amortization

  $ 71,752     $ 69,607     $ 66,439     $ 64,733     $ 61,477  

Income from operations

  $ 193,275     $ 186,203     $ 151,108     $ 123,973     $ 130,272  

Other (income) expense, net

  $ (2,076

)

  $ (1,406

)

  $ 374     $ 3,401     $ 7,420  

Provision for income taxes

  $ 75,426     $ 70,924     $ 55,745     $ 44,086     $ 46,444  
                                         

Net income

  $ 119,925     $ 116,685     $ 94,989     $ 76,486     $ 76,408  
                                         

Income per share:

                                       

Basic - Common stock

  $ 6.29     $ 6.14     $ 5.02     $ 4.05     $ 4.11  

Basic - Class B Common Stock

  $ 5.03     $ 4.91     $ 4.01     $ 3.24     $ 3.29  

Diluted - Common stock

  $ 5.95     $ 5.81     $ 4.76     $ 3.85     $ 3.90  
                                         

Dividends per share:

                                       

Common stock

  $ 0.15     $ 0.15     $ 0.15     $ 0.15     $ 0.15  

Class B Common Stock

  $ 0.12     $ 0.12     $ 0.12     $ 0.12     $ 0.12  

 

The Company’s fiscal year ends on the last Saturday in August. For financial reporting purposes, fiscal 2013 consisted of 53 weeks, while all other fiscal years presented consisted of 52 weeks.

 

 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Business Overview

 

UniFirst Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, hereunder referred to as “we”, “our”, the “Company”, or “UniFirst”, is one of the largest providers of workplace uniforms and protective clothing in the United States. We design, manufacture, personalize, rent, clean, deliver, and sell a wide range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, aprons and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments. We also rent and sell industrial wiping products, floor mats, facility service products and other non-garment items, and provide restroom and cleaning supplies and first aid cabinet services and other safety supplies, to a variety of manufacturers, retailers and service companies.

 

We serve businesses of all sizes in numerous industry categories. Typical customers include automobile service centers and dealers, delivery services, food and general merchandise retailers, food processors and service operations, light manufacturers, maintenance facilities, restaurants, service companies, soft and durable goods wholesalers, transportation companies, and others who require employee clothing for image, identification, protection or utility purposes. We also provide our customers with restroom and cleaning supplies, including air fresheners, paper products and hand soaps.

 

At certain specialized facilities, we also decontaminate and clean work clothes and other items that may have been exposed to radioactive materials and service special cleanroom protective wear and facilities. Typical customers for these specialized services include government agencies, research and development laboratories, high technology companies and utilities operating nuclear reactors.

 

We continue to expand into additional geographic markets through acquisitions and organic growth. We currently service over 260,000 customer locations in the United States, Canada and Europe from 226 customer service, distribution and manufacturing facilities.

 

US GAAP establishes standards for reporting information regarding operating segments in annual financial statements and requires selected information of those segments to be presented in interim financial reports issued to shareholders. Operating segments are identified as components of an enterprise for which separate discrete financial information is available for evaluation by the chief operating decision-maker, or decision-making group, in making decisions on how to allocate resources and assess performance. Our chief operating decision-maker is our chief executive officer. We have six operating segments based on the information reviewed by our chief executive officer: US Rental and Cleaning, Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing (“MFG”), Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning (“Specialty Garments”), First Aid and Corporate. The US Rental and Cleaning and Canadian Rental and Cleaning operating segments have been combined to form the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segment. Refer to Note 14, “Segment Reporting”, of our Consolidated Financial Statements for our disclosure of segment information.

   

The US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segment purchases, rents, cleans, delivers and sells, uniforms and protective clothing and non-garment items in the United States and Canada. The operations of the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segment are referred to by us as our ‘industrial laundry operations’ and we refer to the locations related to this reporting segment as our ‘industrial laundries’.

 

The MFG operating segment designs and manufactures uniforms and non-garment items primarily for the purpose of providing these goods to the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segment. The amounts reflected as revenues of MFG are generated when goods are shipped from our manufacturing facilities, or subcontract manufacturers, to our other locations. These revenues are recorded at a transfer price which is typically in excess of the actual manufacturing cost. Products are carried in inventory and subsequently placed in service and amortized at this transfer price. On a consolidated basis, intercompany MFG revenues and MFG income are eliminated and the carrying value of inventories and rental merchandise in service is reduced to the manufacturing cost. Income before income taxes from MFG, net of the intercompany MFG elimination, offsets the merchandise amortization costs incurred by the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segment as the merchandise costs of this reporting segment are amortized and recognized based on inventories purchased from MFG at the transfer price which is above our manufacturing cost.

 

The Corporate operating segment consists of costs associated with our distribution center, sales and marketing, information systems, engineering, materials management, manufacturing planning, finance, budgeting, human resources, other general and administrative costs and interest expense. The revenues generated from the Corporate operating segment represent certain direct sales made directly from our distribution center. The products sold by this operating segment are the same products rented and sold by the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segment. In the segment disclosures in Note 14, “Segment Reporting”, of our Consolidated Financial Statements, no assets or capital expenditures are presented for the Corporate operating segment as no assets are allocated to this operating segment in the information reviewed by our chief executive officer. However, depreciation and amortization expense related to certain assets are reflected in income from operations and income before income taxes for the Corporate operating segment. The assets that give rise to this depreciation and amortization are included in the total assets of the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning reporting segment as this is how they are tracked and reviewed by us.

 

 

We refer to our US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning, MFG, and Corporate segments combined as our “Core Laundry Operations”.

 

The Specialty Garments operating segment purchases, rents, cleans, delivers and sells, specialty garments and non-garment items primarily for nuclear and cleanroom applications and provides cleanroom cleaning services at limited customer locations. The First Aid operating segment sells first aid cabinet services and other safety supplies as well as maintains wholesale distribution and pill packaging operations.

 

Approximately 90% of our revenues in fiscal 2014 were derived from US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning, and Corporate. A key driver of this business is the number of workers employed by our customers. Our revenues are directly impacted by fluctuations in these employment levels. Revenues from Specialty Garments, which accounted for approximately 7% of our 2014 revenues, increase during outages and refueling by nuclear power plants, as garment usage increases at these times. First Aid represented approximately 3% of our total revenue in fiscal 2014.

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

 

We believe the following critical accounting policies reflect our more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Use of Estimates

 

We prepare our financial statements in conformity with US GAAP, which requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts in the financial statements and accompanying notes. These estimates are based on historical information, current trends, and information available from other sources. The actual results could differ from our estimates.

 

Foreign Currency Translation

 

The functional currency of our foreign operations is the local country’s currency. Transaction gains and losses, including gains and losses on our intercompany transactions, are included in other (income) expense, in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Income. Assets and liabilities of operations outside the United States are translated into U.S. dollars using period-end exchange rates. Revenues and expenses are translated at the average exchange rates in effect during each month of the fiscal year. The effects of foreign currency translation adjustments are included in shareholders’ equity as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets.

  

Revenue Recognition and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

 

We recognize revenue from rental operations in the period in which the services are provided. Direct sale revenue is recognized in the period in which the services are performed or when the product is shipped. Our judgment and estimates are used in determining the collectability of accounts receivable and evaluating the adequacy of the allowance for doubtful accounts. We consider specific accounts receivable and historical bad debt experience, customer credit worthiness, current economic trends and the age of outstanding balances as part of our evaluation. Changes in our estimates are reflected in the period they become known. If the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of their ability to make payments, additional allowances may be required. Material changes in our estimates may result in significant differences in the amount and timing of bad debt expense recognition for any given period. Our revenues do not include taxes we collect from our customers and remit to governmental authorities.

 

Inventories and Rental Merchandise in Service

 

Our inventories are stated at the lower of cost or market value, net of any reserve for excess and obsolete inventory. Judgments and estimates are used in determining the likelihood that new goods on hand can be sold to our customers or used in our rental operations. Historical inventory usage and current revenue trends are considered in estimating both excess and obsolete inventories. If actual product demand and market conditions are less favorable than the amount we projected, additional inventory write-downs may be required. We use the first-in, first-out (“FIFO”) method to value our inventories, which primarily consist of finished goods.

 

Rental merchandise in service is being amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated service lives of the merchandise, which range from 6 to 36 months. In establishing estimated lives for merchandise in service, our management considers historical experience and the intended use of the merchandise. Material differences may result in the amount and timing of operating profit for any period if we make significant changes to our estimates.

 

Goodwill, Intangibles and Other Long-Lived Assets

 

In accordance with US GAAP, we do not amortize goodwill. Instead, current accounting guidance requires that companies test goodwill for impairment on an annual basis. In addition, US GAAP requires that companies test goodwill if events occur or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit to which goodwill is assigned below its carrying amount. Our evaluation considers changes in the operating environment, competitive information, market trends, operating performance and cash flow modeling.

 

 

We complete our annual goodwill impairment test in the fourth quarter of each fiscal year and there have been no impairments of goodwill or other intangible assets in fiscal 2014, 2013 or 2012.

 

We cannot predict future economic conditions and their impact on the Company or the future market value of our stock. A decline in our market capitalization and/or deterioration in general economic conditions could negatively and materially impact our assumptions and assessment of the fair value of our business. If general economic conditions or our financial performance deteriorate, we may be required to record a goodwill impairment charge in the future which could have a material impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Property, plant and equipment, and definite-lived intangible assets are depreciated or amortized over their useful lives. Useful lives are based on our estimates of the period that the assets will generate economic benefits. Long-lived assets are evaluated for impairment whenever events or circumstances indicate an asset may be impaired. There were no material impairments of property, plant and equipment, or definite-lived intangible assets in fiscal 2014, 2013 or 2012.

 

Insurance

 

We self-insure for certain obligations related to health, workers’ compensation, vehicles and general liability programs. We also purchase stop-loss insurance policies to protect ourselves from catastrophic losses. Judgments and estimates are used in determining the potential value associated with reported claims and for events that have occurred, but have not been reported. Our estimates consider historical claim experience and other factors. Our liabilities are based on our estimates, and, while we believe that our accruals are adequate, the ultimate liability may be significantly different from the amounts recorded. Changes in our claim experience, our ability to settle claims or other estimates and judgments we use could have a material impact on the amount and timing of expense for any given period.

 

Environmental and Other Contingencies

 

We are subject to legal proceedings and claims arising from the conduct of our business operations, including environmental matters, personal injury, customer contract matters and employment claims. Accounting principles generally accepted in the United States require that a liability for contingencies be recorded when it is probable that a liability has occurred and the amount of the liability can be reasonably estimated. Significant judgment is required to determine the existence of a liability, as well as the amount to be recorded. We regularly consult with our attorneys and outside consultants, in our consideration of the relevant facts and circumstances, before recording a contingent liability. We record accruals for environmental and other contingencies based on enacted laws, regulatory orders or decrees, our estimates of costs, insurance proceeds, participation by other parties, the timing of payments, and the input of our attorneys and outside consultants.

 

The estimated liability for environmental contingencies has been discounted as of August 30, 2014 using risk-free interest rates ranging from 2.4% to 3.1% over periods ranging from ten to thirty years. The estimated current costs, net of legal settlements with insurance carriers, have been adjusted for the estimated impact of inflation at 3% per year. Changes in enacted laws, regulatory orders or decrees, our estimates of costs, risk-free interest rates, insurance proceeds, participation by other parties, the timing of payments, the input of our attorneys and outside consultants or other factual circumstances could have a material impact on the amounts recorded for our environmental and other contingent liabilities. Refer to Note 10, “Commitments and Contingencies”, of our Consolidated Financial Statements for additional discussion and analysis.

 

Asset Retirement Obligations

 

Under US GAAP, asset retirement obligations generally apply to legal obligations associated with the retirement of long-lived assets that result from the acquisition, construction, development and/or the normal operation of a long-lived asset. Current accounting guidance requires that we recognize asset retirement obligations in the period in which they are incurred if a reasonable estimate of fair value can be made. The associated asset retirement costs are capitalized as part of the carrying amount of the long-lived asset.

 

We have recognized as a liability the present value of the estimated future costs to decommission our nuclear laundry facilities in accordance with US GAAP. We depreciate, on a straight-line basis, the amount added to property, plant and equipment and recognize accretion expense in connection with the discounted liability over the various remaining lives which range from approximately seven to thirty years.

 

Our estimated liability has been based on historical experience in decommissioning nuclear laundry facilities, estimated useful lives of the underlying assets, external vendor estimates as to the cost to decommission these assets in the future, and federal and state regulatory requirements. The estimated current costs have been adjusted for the estimated impact of inflation at 3% per year. The liability has been discounted using credit-adjusted risk-free rates that range from approximately 7.0% to 7.5%. Revisions to the liability could occur due to changes in the estimated useful lives of the underlying assets, estimated dates of decommissioning, changes in decommissioning costs, changes in federal or state regulatory guidance on the decommissioning of such facilities, or other changes in estimates. Changes due to revisions in our estimates will be recognized by adjusting the carrying amount of the liability and the related long-lived asset if the assets are still in service, or charged to expense in the period if the assets are no longer in service. 

 

 

Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan and other Pension Plans

 

We recognize pension expense on an accrual basis over our employees’ estimated service periods. Pension expense is generally independent of funding decisions or requirements.

 

The calculation of pension expense and the corresponding liability requires us to use of a number of critical assumptions, including the expected long-term rates of return on plan assets, the assumed discount rate, the assumed rate of compensation increases and life expectancy of participants. Changes in our assumptions can result in different expense and liability amounts, and future actual expense can differ from these assumptions. Pension expense increases as the expected rate of return on pension plan assets decreases. Future changes in plan asset returns, assumed discount rates and various other factors related to the participants in our pension plans will impact our future pension expense and liabilities. We cannot predict with certainty what these factors will be in the future.

 

Income Taxes

 

We compute income tax expense by jurisdiction based on our operations in each jurisdiction. Deferred income taxes are provided for temporary differences between the amounts recognized for income tax and financial reporting purposes at currently enacted tax rates.

   

We are periodically reviewed by U.S. domestic and foreign tax authorities regarding the amount of taxes due. These reviews typically include inquiries regarding the timing and amount of deductions and the allocation of income among various tax jurisdictions. In evaluating our exposure associated with various filing positions, we have recorded estimated reserves. Refer to Note 4, “Income Taxes”, of our Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion regarding our accounting for income taxes and uncertain tax positions for financial accounting purposes.

 

We have undistributed earnings from our foreign subsidiaries of approximately $111.8 million, $101.5 million and $90.0 million as of August 30, 2014, August 31, 2013 and August 25, 2012, respectively. We consider these undistributed earnings as indefinitely reinvested and therefore have not provided for U.S. income taxes or foreign withholding taxes. If these earnings were ultimately distributed to the U.S. in the form of dividends or otherwise, or if the shares of our international subsidiaries were sold or transferred, we would likely be subject to additional U.S. income taxes, net of the impact of any available foreign tax credits as well as foreign withholding taxes. It is not practicable to estimate the amount of unrecognized deferred U.S. taxes on these undistributed earnings.

 

Results of Operations

 

The following table presents certain selected financial data, including the percentage of revenues represented by each item, for our three fiscal years ended August 30, 2014, August 31, 2013 and August 25, 2012.

 

                                                   

% Change

 

(In thousands, except for percentages)

 

FY 2014

   

% of

Revenues

   

FY 2013

   

% of

Revenues

   

FY 2012

   

% of

Revenues

   

FY 2014

vs.

FY 2013

   

FY 2013

vs.

FY 2012

 

Revenues

  $ 1,394,897       100.0

%

  $ 1,355,515       100.0

%

  $ 1,256,289       100.0 %     2.9 %     7.9 %
                                                                 

Costs and expenses:

                                                               

Cost of revenue (1)

    858,306       61.5       836,174       61.7       797,944       63.5       2.6       4.8  

Selling and administrative expenses (1)

    271,564       19.5       263,531       19.4       240,798       19.2       3.0       9.4  

Depreciation and amortization

    71,752       5.1       69,607       5.1       66,439       5.3       3.1       4.8  
      1,201,622       86.1       1,169,312       86.3       1,105,181       88.0       2.8       5.8  
                                                                 

Income from operations

    193,275       13.9       186,203       13.7       151,108       12.0       3.8       23.2  

Other (income) expense

    (2,076

)

    -0.1       (1,406

)

    -0.1       374       0.0       47.7       -475.9  
                                                                 

Income before income taxes

    195,351       14.0       187,609       13.8       150,734       12.0       4.1       24.5  

Provision for income taxes

    75,426       5.4       70,924       5.2       55,745       4.4       6.3       27.2  
                                                                 

Net income

  $ 119,925       8.6

%

  $ 116,685       8.6

%

  $ 94,989       7.6 %     2.8 %     22.8 %

 

 

 

(1)

Exclusive of depreciation on our property, plant and equipment and amortization of our intangible assets.

 

 

Revenues and income (loss) from operations by reporting segment for the three fiscal years ended August 30, 2014, August 31, 2013, and August 25, 2012 are presented in the following table. Refer to Note 14, “Segment Reporting”, of our Consolidated Financial Statements for discussion of our reporting segments.

 

 

     

Fiscal year ended August

 

(In thousands)

 

2014

   

2013

   

2012

 

Segment Information

                       

Revenues

                       
 

US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning

  $ 1,244,408     $ 1,200,286     $ 1,099,421  
 

MFG

    183,340       170,867       160,421  
 

Net intercompany MFG elimination

    (183,340

)

    (170,867

)

    (160,421

)

 

Corporate

    15,077       14,079       12,902  

Subtotal: Core Laundry Operations

    1,259,485       1,214,365       1,112,323  

Specialty Garments

    91,484       96,688       102,758  

First Aid

    43,928       44,462       41,208  

Total consolidated revenues

  $ 1,394,897     $ 1,355,515     $ 1,256,289  

Income (loss) from operations

                       
 

US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning

  $ 209,497     $ 200,852       164,793  
 

MFG

    63,675       61,896       50,036  
 

Net intercompany MFG elimination

    (3,777

)

    (9,729

)

    (5,168

)

 

Corporate

    (87,145

)

    (82,357

)

    (76,376

)

Subtotal: Core Laundry Operations

    182,250       170,662       133,285  

Specialty Garments

    7,178       10,539       13,460  

First Aid

    3,847       5,002       4,363  

Total income from operations

  $ 193,275     $ 186,203     $ 151,108  

 

   

General

 

We derive our revenues through the design, manufacture, personalization, rental, cleaning, delivering, and selling of a wide range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks and aprons and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments. We also rent industrial wiping products, floor mats, facility service products, other non-garment items, and provide restroom and cleaning supplies and first aid cabinet services and other safety supplies, to a variety of manufacturers, retailers and service companies. We have five reporting segments, US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing (“MFG”), Corporate, Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning (“Specialty Garments”), and First Aid. We refer to the US and Canadian Rental and Cleaning, MFG, and Corporate reporting segments combined as our “Core Laundry Operations.”

 

Cost of revenues include the amortization of rental merchandise in service and merchandise costs related to direct sales as well as labor and other production, service and delivery costs, and distribution costs associated with operating our Core Laundry Operations, Specialty Garments facilities, and First Aid locations. Selling and administrative costs include costs related to our sales and marketing functions as well as general and administrative costs associated with our corporate offices and operating locations including information systems, engineering, materials management, manufacturing planning, finance, budgeting, and human resources.

 

The price of fuel and energy needed to run our vehicles and equipment is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events outside our control, including geopolitical developments, supply and demand for oil and gas, actions by OPEC and other oil and gas producers, war and unrest in oil producing countries, regional production patterns, limits on refining capacities, natural disasters and environmental concerns. Increases in the price of fuel or energy could negatively impact our financial results.

 

The cost of healthcare that we provide to our employees has grown over the last few years at a rate in excess of our revenue growth and as a result, has negatively impacted our operating results. In fiscal 2015, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) will require us to modify one of the healthcare plans we provide to our employees. In addition, we will incur additional costs related to ACA transitional reinsurance fees that will be paid in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017. We expect that the required modifications to our healthcare plan and the incurrence of such fees will increase our cost of providing healthcare to our employees. There remains considerable uncertainty as to how significant the increase to the healthcare costs will be, including the effect of the plan modifications on the behavior of our employees as well as the potential for increased enrollment in our plans. Although uncertainty exists, we anticipate that our future operating results will continue to be further adversely impacted by increasing healthcare costs.

 

We are currently undertaking a company-wide initiative to update our customer relationship management systems. As of August 30, 2014, we have capitalized $36.4 million related to our CRM project (“Unity 20/20”). Although we do not currently anticipate deployment of this system during fiscal 2015, we continue to make investments in IT infrastructure, including headcount, to help support this and other technology initiatives. In addition, future years will be impacted by the eventual depreciation of our Unity 20/20 investment.

 

 

During fiscal 2014, there was an increase in the amount of new garments placed in service to meet the day-to-day needs of our existing wearer base. As we expect this trend to continue into fiscal 2015, we project that our fiscal 2015 merchandise amortization will be higher as a percentage of revenues compared to fiscal 2014.

 

A portion of our sales is derived from international markets, including Canada. Revenues denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar represented approximately 9.8%, 9.7% and 8.9% of total consolidated revenues for fiscal years 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The operating results of our international subsidiaries are translated into U.S. dollars and such results are affected by movements in foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar. In fiscal 2014 and 2012, foreign currency fluctuations negatively impacted our consolidated revenues by 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively. These impacts were primarily driven by unfavorable fluctuations in the Canadian dollar. In fiscal 2013, foreign currency fluctuations did not have a significant impact on our revenues. Our operating results in future years could be negatively impacted by any further devaluation, as compared to the U.S. dollar, of the Canadian dollar or any of the currencies of the other countries in which we operate.

 

The current worldwide economic uncertainty may negatively impact our revenues and operating performance in fiscal 2015 and beyond due to the impact on spending plans and employment levels of our customers and sales prospects.

 

Fiscal Year Ended August 30, 2014 Compared with Fiscal Year Ended August 31, 2013

 

Revenues

 

   

August 30,

   

August 31,

   

Dollar

   

Percent

 
   

2014

   

2013

   

Change

   

Change

 
   

(In thousands, except percentages)

 
                                 

Core Laundry Operations

  $ 1,259,485     $ 1,214,365     $ 45,120       3.7

%

Specialty Garments

    91,484       96,688       (5,204

)

    -5.4  

First Aid

    43,928       44,462       (534

)

    -1.2  

Total consolidated revenues

  $ 1,394,897     $ 1,355,515     $ 39,382       2.9

%

  

In fiscal 2014, our consolidated revenues increased by $39.4 million from the comparable period in 2013, or 2.9%. Fiscal 2014 had 52 weeks of operations compared to 53 weeks in fiscal 2013. Excluding the estimated impact of the extra week in prior year, consolidated revenues increased 4.8% compared to fiscal 2013. Our year-over-year increase in consolidated revenues was primarily driven by the growth in our Core Laundry Operations, whose revenues increased to $1.259 billion in fiscal 2014 from $1.214 billion in fiscal 2013, or 3.7%. Excluding the estimated impact of the extra week in prior year, Core Laundry Operations increased 5.7%, which was driven by organic growth of 5.2% and acquisition-related growth of 1.1%. Organic growth is comprised of new sales, additions to our existing customer base and price increases, offset by lost accounts and reductions to our existing customer base. Organic growth in fiscal 2014 benefited from record levels of new account sales, improved customer retention as well as certain annual price adjustments. The growth in our Core Laundry Operations was partially offset by unfavorable fluctuations in the Canadian exchange rate which accounted for decrease in revenues of approximately 0.6%.

 

Specialty Garments’ revenue decreased from $96.7 million in fiscal 2013 to $91.5 million in fiscal 2014, or 5.4%. The decrease was primarily the result of reduced power reactor business in the U.S. and Canada compared to a year ago. This segment’s results are often affected by the timing and length of its customers’ power reactor outages as well as its project-based activities. The decline in the Specialty Garments’ U.S. and Canadian business was partially offset by improved performance from the segments’ European operations. First Aid revenues decreased 1.2%, from $44.5 million in fiscal 2013 to $43.9 million in fiscal 2014. Excluding the estimated impact of the extra week, First Aid revenues increased 0.7% compared to fiscal 2013.

  

Cost of revenues

 

Cost of revenues decreased as a percentage of revenues from 61.7% of revenues, or $836.2 million, in fiscal 2013 to 61.5% of revenues, or $858.3 million, in fiscal 2014. This decrease was primarily due to lower merchandise amortization as a percentage of revenues in our Core Laundry Operations in fiscal 2014 compared to the prior year. This benefit was partially offset by an increase in cost of revenues for the Specialty Garments segment as a percentage of revenues due to the revenue contraction that segment experienced compared to the prior year.

 

Selling and administrative expense

 

Our selling and administrative expenses increased to 19.5% of revenues, or $271.6 million, in fiscal 2014 from 19.4% of revenues, or $263.5 million, in fiscal 2013. The increase was primarily due to higher legal costs compared to the prior year, which was partially offset by lower payroll and payroll-related costs as a percentage of revenues.

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

Our depreciation and amortization expense was $71.8 million, or 5.1% of revenues, in fiscal 2014 compared to $69.6 million, or 5.1% of revenues, in fiscal 2013. Depreciation and amortization expense increased due to capital expenditure and acquisition activity in earlier periods. 

 

Income from operations

 

For the year ended August 30, 2014, the changes in revenues in our Core Laundry Operations, Specialty Garments and First Aid segments, as well as the changes in our costs discussed above, resulted in the following changes in our income from operations:

 

   

August 30,

   

August 31,

   

Dollar

   

Percent

 
   

2014

   

2013

   

Change

   

Change

 
   

(In thousands, except percentages)

 
                                 

Core Laundry Operations

  $ 182,250     $ 170,662     $ 11,588       6.8

%

Specialty Garments

    7,178       10,539       (3,361

)

    -31.9  

First Aid

    3,847       5,002       (1,155

)

    -23.1  

Total consolidated income from operations

  $ 193,275     $ 186,203     $ 7,072       3.8

%

Percentage of total revenues

    13.9

%

    13.7

%

               

 

Other (income) expense

 

Other (income) expense, which includes interest expense, interest income and foreign currency exchange loss (gain), was income of $2.1 million for fiscal 2014 as compared to income of $1.4 million for fiscal 2013. The increase was primarily due to a decrease in interest expense from $1.7 million in fiscal 2013 to $0.8 million in fiscal 2014 primarily due to the Company’s repayment of $100.0 million in private placement notes that came due in September 2013.

 

Provision for income taxes

 

Our effective tax rate was 38.6% for fiscal 2014 compared to 37.8% for fiscal 2013. This increase was primarily due to an increase in state income taxes, a change in the mix of jurisdictional earnings in fiscal 2014 as well as higher tax credits recognized in fiscal 2013.

 

Fiscal Year Ended August 31, 2013 Compared with Fiscal Year Ended August 25, 2012

 

Revenues

 

   

August 31,

   

August 25,

   

Dollar

   

Percent

 
   

2013

   

2012

   

Change

   

Change

 
   

(In thousands, except percentages)

 
                                 

Core Laundry Operations

  $ 1,214,365     $ 1,112,323     $ 102,042       9.2

%

Specialty Garments

    96,688       102,758       (6,070

)

    -5.9  

First Aid

    44,462       41,208       3,254       7.9  

Total consolidated revenues

  $ 1,355,515     $ 1,256,289     $ 99,226       7.9

%

 

In fiscal 2013, our consolidated revenues increased by $99.2 million from the comparable period in 2012, or 7.9%. Fiscal 2013 had 53 weeks of operations compared to 52 weeks in fiscal 2012. The extra week in fiscal 2013 accounted for revenue growth of 2.0% compared to fiscal 2012. Our year-over-year increase in consolidated revenues was primarily driven by a $102.0 million increase in our Core Laundry Operations. Core laundry revenues increased to $1.214 billion in fiscal 2013 from $1.112 billion in fiscal 2012, or 9.2%. This increase was primarily attributable to positive organic growth of 6.9%. Organic growth is comprised of new sales, additions to our existing customer base and price increases, offset by lost accounts and reductions to our existing customer base. Organic growth in fiscal 2013 benefited from new account sales as well as certain annual price adjustments. Our revenues in fiscal 2013 also benefitted from higher collections of merchandise recovery charges compared to fiscal 2012.  Strong growth in our flame resistant product line also contributed to our top line gains in fiscal 2013. Partially offsetting these positive factors, wearer levels at our existing accounts were lower in fiscal 2013 than in fiscal 2012, which reflects the impact of continued high unemployment. The positive organic growth in our Core Laundry Operations was accompanied by positive acquisition-related growth of 0.3% as well as the impact of the extra week of operations which accounted for approximately 2.0% of core laundry revenue growth.

 

 

Specialty Garments’ revenue decreased from $102.8 million in fiscal 2012 to $96.7 million in fiscal 2013, or 5.9%. The decrease was primarily the result of the completion of two large power reactor rebuild projects in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, partially offset by the impact of an extra week of operations. First Aid revenues increased 7.9%, from $41.2 million in fiscal 2012 to $44.5 million in fiscal 2013. This increase was the result of improved performance from each of the segment’s operations (i.e., wholesale distribution, pill packaging, and van-based operations) as well as the impact of the extra week of operations.

  

Cost of revenues

 

Cost of revenues decreased from 63.5% of revenues, or $797.9 million, in fiscal 2012 to 61.7% of revenues, or $836.2 million, in fiscal 2013. This decrease was primarily due to lower merchandise, energy and payroll costs as a percentage of revenues in our Core Laundry Operations, primarily due to the revenue growth this segment experienced. In addition, the Company benefited from lower bad debt expense in fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012. These lower costs as a percentage of revenues were partially offset by an increase in the cost of revenues for the Specialty Garments segment as a percentage of revenues due to the revenue contraction that segment experienced during fiscal 2013.

 

Selling and administrative expense

 

Our selling and administrative expenses increased to 19.4% of revenues, or $263.5 million, in fiscal 2013 from 19.2% of revenues, or $240.8 million, in fiscal 2012. This increase was primarily due to a settlement we entered into during fiscal 2012 related to environmental litigation. As a result of the settlement, we recognized a gain in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 of approximately $6.7 million. Excluding the effect of this settlement, selling and administrative costs would have decreased from 19.7% of revenues in fiscal 2012 to 19.4% of revenues in fiscal 2013. This decrease was primarily due to lower selling and administrative payroll costs as a percentage of revenues. In addition, the comparisons of fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2012 benefited from certain costs we incurred in fiscal 2012 associated with our company-wide initiative to update our customer relationship management system.

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

Our depreciation and amortization expense was $69.6 million, or 5.1% of revenues, in fiscal 2013 compared to $66.4 million, or 5.3% of revenues, in fiscal 2012. Depreciation and amortization expense increased due to capital expenditure and acquisition activity but decreased as a percentage of revenues due to the revenue growth we experienced in fiscal 2013.

 

Income from operations

 

For the year ended August 31, 2013, the changes in revenues in our Core Laundry Operations, Specialty Garments and First Aid segments, as well as the changes in our costs discussed above, resulted in the following changes in our income from operations:

 

   

August 31,

   

August 25,

   

Dollar

   

Percent

 
   

2013

   

2012

   

Change

   

Change

 
   

(In thousands, except percentages)

 
                                 

Core Laundry Operations

  $ 170,662     $ 133,285     $ 37,377       28.0

%

Specialty Garments

    10,539       13,460       (2,921

)

    -21.7  

First Aid

    5,002       4,363       639       14.6  

Total consolidated income from operations

  $ 186,203     $ 151,108     $ 35,095       23.2

%

Percentage of total revenues

    13.7

%

    12.0

%

               

 

Other (income) expense

 

Other (income) expense, which includes interest expense, interest income and foreign currency exchange loss (gain), was income of $1.4 million for fiscal 2013 as compared to an expense of $0.4 million for fiscal 2012. The change was primarily due to higher net interest income in fiscal 2013 of $1.6 million compared to net interest income of $0.6 million in fiscal 2012. This increase in income was the result of a decrease in the interest rates affecting our variable rate debt as well as higher cash balances earning interest income. In addition, we experienced a foreign currency exchange rate loss of $0.1 million in fiscal 2013 compared to a foreign currency exchange rate loss of $1.0 million in fiscal 2012.

 

Provision for income taxes

 

Our effective tax rate was 37.8% for fiscal 2013 compared to 37.0% for fiscal 2012. Our tax rate in fiscal 2013 was higher than fiscal 2012 primarily due to the reversal in fiscal 2012 of certain tax contingency reserves as well as $0.4 million of tax expense that we recognized in fiscal 2013 related to non-deductible compensation.

 

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

General  

 

Cash and cash equivalents totaled $191.8 million as of August 30, 2014, a decrease of $5.7 million from $197.5 million as of August 31, 2013. Our working capital was $398.2 million as of August 30, 2014 compared to $296.4 million as of August 31, 2013. We generated $194.6 million and $211.6 million in cash from operating activities in the fiscal years ended August 30, 2014 and August 31, 2013, respectively. We have accumulated $63.5 million in cash outside the United States that is expected to be invested indefinitely in our foreign subsidiaries. If these funds were distributed to the U.S. in the form of dividends, we would likely be subject to additional U.S. income taxes. However, we do not believe than any resulting taxes payable would have a material impact on our liquidity. We believe that our current cash and cash equivalent balances, our cash generated from future operations and amounts available under our Credit Agreement (defined below) will be sufficient to meet our current anticipated working capital and capital expenditure requirements for at least the next 12 months.

 

Cash flows provided by operating activities have historically been the primary source of our liquidity. We generally use these cash flows to fund most, if not all, of our operations, capital expenditure and acquisition activities as well as dividends on our common stock. We may also use cash flows provided by operating activities, as well as proceeds from loans payable and long-term debt, to fund growth and acquisition opportunities, as well as other cash requirements.

 

Cash Provided by Operating Activities

 

Cash provided by operating activities for fiscal year ended August 30, 2014 was $194.6 million, a decrease of $17.0 million from the prior fiscal year when cash provided by operating activities was $211.6 million. This net decrease was primarily driven by the following factors:

 

 

A decrease in deferred income taxes of $12.2 million primarily the result of a prior year tax regulation change that favorably impacted the timing of our deductions.

 

A decrease in cash flows of $9.8 million generated by changes in working capital which were primarily driven by increased investments in our inventories and rental merchandise in service, as well as increases in our receivables and the timing of our income tax payments. These items were partially offset by cash inflows related to the timing of our vendor payments.

 

An increase in cash flows of $5.1 million generated from higher net income, adjusted for non-cash items.

 

Cash Used in Investing Activities

 

Cash used in investing activities for the fiscal year ended August 30, 2014 was $94.2 million, a decrease of $40.0 million from the prior fiscal year when cash used in investing activities was $134.2 million. The net decrease in cash used in investing activities was primarily driven by a decrease in cash outflows of $27.1 million for the acquisition of businesses as well as a decrease in cash outflows of $11.7 million for capital expenditures during the fiscal year ended August 30, 2014 compared to the prior year.

 

Cash (Used in) Provided by Financing Activities

 

Cash used in financing activities for the fiscal year ended August 30, 2014 was $104.4 million compared to cash provided by financing activities of $3.8 million for the fiscal year end August 31, 2013. This change was due to a net cash outflow related to loans payable and long-term debt of $103.9 million in fiscal 2014, which was primarily attributable to the repayment of $100.0 million of Floating Rate Notes (defined below) that came due in September 2013 from our cash reserves.

 

Long-term debt and borrowing capacity 

 

On May 5, 2011, we entered into a $250.0 million unsecured revolving credit agreement (the “Credit Agreement”) with a syndicate of banks, which matures on May 4, 2016. Under the Credit Agreement, we are able to borrow funds at variable interest rates based on, at our election, the Eurodollar rate or a base rate, plus in each case a spread based on our consolidated funded debt ratio. Availability of credit requires compliance with certain financial and other covenants, including a maximum consolidated funded debt ratio and minimum consolidated interest coverage ratio as defined in the Credit Agreement. We test our compliance with these financial covenants on a fiscal quarterly basis. At August 30, 2014, the interest rates applicable to our borrowings under the Credit Agreement would be calculated as LIBOR plus 75 basis points at the time of the respective borrowing. As of August 30, 2014, we had no outstanding borrowings, letters of credit amounting to $49.6 million and $200.4 million available for borrowing under the Credit Agreement.

 

On September 14, 2006, we issued $100.0 million of floating rates notes (“Floating Rate Notes”) pursuant to a Note Purchase Agreement, which bore interest at LIBOR plus 50 basis points. On September 14, 2013, the Floating Rate Notes matured and were repaid in full from our cash reserves.

 

As of August 30, 2014, we were in compliance with all covenants under the Credit Agreement.

  

 

Environmental and Legal Contingencies 

 

We are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations governing, among other things, air emissions, wastewater discharges, and the generation, handling, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes and other substances. In particular, industrial laundries currently use and must dispose of detergent waste water and other residues, and, in the past, used perchloroethylene and other dry cleaning solvents. We are attentive to the environmental concerns surrounding the disposal of these materials and have, through the years, taken measures to avoid their improper disposal. Over the years, we have settled, or contributed to the settlement of, actions or claims brought against us relating to the disposal of hazardous materials and there can be no assurance that we will not have to expend material amounts to remediate the consequences of any such disposal in the future.

 

US GAAP requires that a liability for contingencies be recorded when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the liability can be reasonably estimated. Significant judgment is required to determine the existence of a liability, as well as the amount to be recorded. We regularly consult with attorneys and outside consultants in our consideration of the relevant facts and circumstances before recording a contingent liability. Changes in enacted laws, regulatory orders or decrees, our estimates of costs, risk-free interest rates, insurance proceeds, participation by other parties, the timing of payments, the input of our attorneys and outside consultants or other factual circumstances could have a material impact on the amounts recorded for our environmental and other contingent liabilities.

 

Under environmental laws, an owner or lessee of real estate may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of certain hazardous or toxic substances located on, or in, or emanating from such property, as well as related costs of investigation and property damage. Such laws often impose liability without regard to whether the owner or lessee knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. There can be no assurances that acquired or leased locations have been operated in compliance with environmental laws and regulations or that future uses or conditions will not result in the imposition of liability upon our Company under such laws or expose our Company to third party actions such as tort suits. We continue to address environmental conditions under terms of consent orders or otherwise negotiated with the applicable environmental authorities with respect to sites located in or related to Woburn, Massachusetts, Somerville, Massachusetts, Springfield, Massachusetts, Uvalde, Texas, Stockton, California, three sites related to former operations in Williamstown, Vermont, as well as sites located in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina and Landover, Maryland.

 

We have accrued certain costs related to the sites described above as it has been determined that the costs are probable and can be reasonably estimated. We have potential exposure related to a parcel of land (the “Central Area”) related to the Woburn, Massachusetts site discussed above. Currently, the consent decree for the Woburn site does not define or require any remediation work in the Central Area. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) has provided us and other signatories to the consent decree with comments on the design and implementation of groundwater and soil remedies at the Woburn site and investigation of environmental conditions in the Central Area. We, and other signatories, have implemented and proposed to do additional work at the Woburn site but many of the EPA’s comments remain to be resolved. We have accrued costs to perform certain work responsive to EPA’s comments. We are also in discussions with EPA concerning its invoices for oversight costs with respect to the Woburn site and the Central Area. We have implemented mitigation measures and continue to monitor environmental conditions at the Somerville, Massachusetts site. We also expect to incur monitoring and mitigation costs associated with the planned construction of a transit station in the area of the Somerville site.

 

We routinely review and evaluate sites that may require remediation and monitoring and determine our estimated costs based on various estimates and assumptions. These estimates are developed using our internal sources or by third-party environmental engineers or other service providers. Internally developed estimates are based on:

 

 

 

Management’s judgment and experience in remediating and monitoring our sites;

 

 

 

Information available from regulatory agencies as to costs of remediation and monitoring;

 

 

 

The number, financial resources and relative degree of responsibility of other potentially responsible parties (PRPs) who may be liable for remediation and monitoring of a specific site; and

 

 

 

The typical allocation of costs among PRPs.

 

There is usually a range of reasonable estimates of the costs associated with each site. In accordance with US GAAP, our accruals represent the amount within the range that we believe is the best estimate or the low end of a range of estimates if no point within the range is a better estimate. When we believe that both the amount of a particular liability and the timing of the payments are reliably determinable, we adjust the cost in current dollars using a rate of 3% for inflation until the time of expected payment and discount the cost to present value using current risk-free interest rates. As of August 30, 2014, the risk-free interest rates we utilized ranged from 2.4% to 3.1%.

 

 

For environmental liabilities that have been discounted, we include interest accretion, based on the effective interest method, in selling and administrative expenses on the Consolidated Statements of Income. The changes to the amounts of our environmental liabilities for the years ended August 30, 2014 and August 31, 2013 are as follows (in thousands):

 

Year ended

 

August 30,

2014

   

August 31,

2013

 

Beginning balance

  $ 19,680     $ 20,020  

Costs incurred for which reserves have been provided

    (2,913

)

    (1,862

)

Insurance proceeds

    687       282  

Interest accretion

    716       542  

Changes in discount rates

    1,080       (1,585

)

Revisions in estimates

    596       2,283  
                 

Ending balance

  $ 19,846     $ 19,680  

 

Anticipated payments and insurance proceeds of currently identified environmental remediation liabilities as of August 30, 2014 for the next five fiscal years and thereafter, as measured in current dollars, are reflected below (in thousands).

 

Fiscal year ended August

 

2015

   

2016

   

2017

   

2018

   

2019

   

Thereafter

   

Total

 

Estimated costs – current dollars

  $ 5,219     $ 1,915     $ 1,663     $ 745     $ 863     $ 12,407     $ 22,812  
                                                         

Estimated insurance proceeds

    (173

)

    (159

)

    (173

)

    (159

)

    (173

)

    (1,430

)

    (2,267

)

                                                         

Net anticipated costs

  $ 5,046     $ 1,756     $ 1,490     $ 586     $ 690     $ 10,977     $ 20,545  
                                                         

Effect of inflation

                                                    7,075  

Effect of discounting

                                                    (7,774

)

                                                         

Balance as of August 30, 2014

                                                  $ 19,846  

 

Estimated insurance proceeds are primarily received from an annuity received as part of our legal settlement with an insurance company. Annual proceeds of approximately $0.3 million are deposited into an escrow account which funds remediation and monitoring costs for three sites related to our former operations in Williamstown, Vermont. Annual proceeds received but not expended in the current year accumulate in this account and may be used in future years for costs related to this site through the year 2027. As of August 30, 2014, the balance in this escrow account, which is held in a trust and is not recorded in our Consolidated Balance Sheet, was approximately $2.9 million. Also included in estimated insurance proceeds are amounts we are entitled to receive pursuant to legal settlements as reimbursements from three insurance companies for estimated costs at the site in Uvalde, Texas.

 

Our nuclear garment decontamination facilities are licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”), or, in certain cases, by the applicable state agency, and are subject to regulation by federal, state and local authorities. There can be no assurance that such regulation will not lead to material disruptions in our garment decontamination business.

 

From time to time, we are also subject to legal proceedings and claims arising from the conduct of our business operations, including litigation related to charges for certain ancillary services on invoices, personal injury claims, customer contract matters, employment claims and environmental matters as described above.

 

While it is impossible for us to ascertain the ultimate legal and financial liability with respect to contingent liabilities, including lawsuits and environmental contingencies, we believe that the aggregate amount of such liabilities, if any, in excess of amounts covered by insurance have been properly accrued in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. It is possible, however, that the future financial position and/or results of operations for any particular future period could be materially affected by changes in our assumptions or strategies related to these contingencies or changes out of our control.

 

As previously disclosed, we are a defendant in hundreds of lawsuits relating to New England Compounding Center’s (“NECC”) highly-publicized compounding and sale of tainted methylprednisolone acetate, which reportedly resulted in a widespread outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections. It has been reported that over 60 people died and another approximately 700 people were allegedly seriously injured as a result of this outbreak. These suits against us relate to the limited, once-a-month cleaning services we provided to portions of NECC’s cleanroom facilities.

 

In February 2013, suits against NECC were transferred to a multi-district litigation (“MDL”) proceeding in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts. The MDL court appointed the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (“PSC”) for the NECC litigation.

 

   

On November 5, 2013, a Master Complaint was filed in the NECC MDL proceeding naming us as one of numerous defendants in the matter. Individual plaintiffs were able to piggy-back on the Master Complaint by filing a Short Form Complaint to initiate legal actions against one or more of the defendants named in the Master Complaint. As of October 17, 2014, we have either received demand letters from or been named as a defendant in suits relating to approximately 650 patients who allegedly received the tainted drug from NECC. We have notified our insurers of these claims and they have issued reservation of rights letters with respect to coverage of these claims. We are continuing discussions with our insurers concerning coverage matters. In early October 2014, we, together with our insurers, engaged in a mediation with the PSC in an attempt to settle these suits. The parties were unable to reach a settlement in this mediation. Although settlement discussions may resume in the future, no assurances can be given that any settlement will be reached in this matter. At the present time, we believe that if we are able to reach a satisfactory settlement in this matter, our insurance coverage with respect to these claims should be sufficient. However, if we do not reach a satisfactory settlement and are found to be liable with respect to claims brought against us relating to NECC that are not covered by our insurance or exceed such insurance coverage, we may incur liabilities that are material to our financial condition and operating results. While we are unable to ascertain the ultimate outcome of this matter, based on the information currently available, we believe that a loss with respect to this matter is neither probable nor remote. Given the uncertainty regarding the possibility of any settlement occurring, and the uncertainty associated with any other resolution of these suits, we are unable to reasonably assess an estimate or range of estimates of any potential losses.
 

Acquisitions

 

As part of our business, we regularly evaluate opportunities to acquire other garment service companies. In recent years, we have typically paid for acquisitions with cash and may continue to do so in the future. To pay for an acquisition, we may use cash on hand, cash generated from operations or borrowings under our Credit Agreement, or we may pursue other forms of debt financing. Our ability to secure short-term and long-term debt financing in the future will depend on several factors, including our future profitability, our levels of debt and equity, and the overall credit and equity market environments.

 

Contractual Obligations and Other Commercial Commitments

 

The following information is presented as of August 30, 2014 (in thousands).

 

Payments Due by Fiscal Period

 

Contractual Obligations

 

Total

   

Less

than 1

year

   

1 3

years

   

3 5

years

   

More than

5 years

 

Total debt

  $ 7,859     $ 7,704     $     $     $ 155  

Retirement plan benefit payments

    25,031       761       1,865       1,975       20,430  
Asset retirement obligations     11,675                         11,675  

Operating leases

    24,677       7,720       10,649       4,586       1,722  
                                         

Total contractual cash obligations

  $ 69,242     $ 16,185     $ 12,514     $ 6,561     $ 33,982  

 

 

We have uncertain tax positions that are reserved totaling $1.2 million as of August 30, 2014 that are excluded from the above table as we cannot make a reasonably reliable estimate of the period of cash settlement with the respective taxing authority.

 

We have accrued $19.8 million in costs related to certain environmental obligations we have to address environmental conditions under terms of consent orders or otherwise negotiated with the applicable environmental authorities. Refer to “Environmental and Legal Contingencies”, above for additional discussion on our environmental obligations.

 

As discussed above under “Long-Term Debt and Borrowing Capacity”, as of August 30, 2014, we had borrowing capacity of $250.0 million under our Credit Agreement, of which approximately $200.4 million was available for borrowing. Also, as of such date, we had no outstanding borrowings and letters of credit outstanding of $49.6 million. All letters of credit expire in less than one year.

 

On September 14, 2013, we repaid in full at maturity the $100 million of Floating Rate Notes from our cash reserves.

 

Off Balance Sheet Arrangements 

 

At August 30, 2014 and August 31, 2013, we did not have any off balance sheet arrangements, as defined in Item 303(a)(4)(ii) of Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation S-K.

 

Seasonality

 

Historically, our revenues and operating results have varied from quarter to quarter and are expected to continue to fluctuate in the future. These fluctuations have been due to a number of factors, including: general economic conditions in our markets; the timing of acquisitions and of commencing start-up operations and related costs; our effectiveness in integrating acquired businesses and start-up operations; the timing of nuclear plant outages; capital expenditures; seasonal rental and purchasing patterns of our customers; and price changes in response to competitive factors. In addition, our operating results historically have been lower during the second and fourth fiscal quarters than during the other quarters of the fiscal year. The operating results for any historical quarter are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for an entire fiscal year or any other interim periods.

 

 

Effects of Inflation

 

In general, we believe that our results of operations are not dependent on moderate changes in the inflation rate. Historically, we have been able to manage the impacts of more significant changes in inflation rates through our customer relationships, customer agreements that generally provide for price increases consistent with the rate of inflation, and continued focus on improvements of operational productivity.

  

Energy Costs

 

Significant increases in energy costs, specifically with respect to natural gas and gasoline, can materially affect our results of operations and financial condition. During fiscal 2014, our energy costs, which include fuel, natural gas, and electricity, represented approximately 5.1% of our total revenue.

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

In February 2013, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued updated accounting guidance that improves the reporting of reclassifications out of accumulated other comprehensive income. The amendments in this updated guidance require an entity to report the effect of significant reclassifications out of accumulated other comprehensive income on the respective line items in net income if the amount being reclassified is required under US GAAP to be reclassified in its entirety to net income. For other amounts that are not required under US GAAP to be reclassified in their entirety to net income in the same reporting period, an entity is required to cross-reference other disclosures required under US GAAP that provide additional detail about those amounts. This guidance was effective for annual reporting periods, and any interim periods within those annual periods, that begin after December 15, 2012 and was to be applied prospectively, with early adoption permitted. We adopted this guidance on September 1, 2013 and the adoption did not have a material impact on our financial statements.

 

In July 2013, the FASB issued updated accounting guidance on the presentation of unrecognized tax benefits. This update provides that an entity’s unrecognized tax benefits, or a portion of its unrecognized tax benefits, should be presented in its financial statements as a reduction to a deferred tax asset for a net operating loss carryforward, a similar tax loss, or a tax credit carryforward, with one exception. That exception states that, to the extent a net operating loss carryforward, a similar tax loss, or a tax credit carryforward is not available at the reporting date under the tax law of the applicable jurisdiction to settle any additional income taxes that would result from the disallowance of a tax position, or the tax law of the applicable jurisdiction does not require the entity to use, and the entity does not intend to use, the deferred tax asset for such purpose, the unrecognized tax benefit should be presented in the financial statements as a liability and should not be combined with deferred tax assets. This guidance is effective for annual reporting periods, and any interim periods within those annual periods, that begin after December 15, 2013 and is to be applied prospectively, with early adoption permitted. We do not expect this guidance to have a material impact on our financial statements.

 

In May 2014, the FASB issued updated accounting guidance on revenue recognition. This update provides a comprehensive new revenue recognition model that requires revenue to be recognized in a manner to depict the transfer of goods or services to a customer at an amount that reflects the consideration expected to be received in exchange for those goods or services. This guidance is effective for annual reporting periods, and any interim periods within those annual periods, that begin after December 15, 2016 and allows for either full retrospective or modified retrospective application, with early adoption not permitted. Accordingly, the standard is effective for us on August 27, 2017. We are currently evaluating the adoption method we will apply and the impact that this guidance will have on our financial statements and related disclosures.

 

In August 2014, the FASB issued accounting guidance about an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. This update defines management’s responsibility to assess an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern, and to provide related footnote disclosures in certain circumstances. This guidance is effective for annual periods ending after December 15, 2016, with early adoption permitted. We are currently evaluating the impact that this guidance will have on our financial statements and related disclosures.

 

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

Foreign Currency Exchange Risk

 

We have determined that all of our foreign subsidiaries operate primarily in local currencies that represent the functional currencies of such subsidiaries. All assets and liabilities of our foreign subsidiaries are translated into U.S. dollars using the exchange rate prevailing at the balance sheet date. The effect of exchange rate fluctuations on the translation of assets and liabilities are recorded as a component of shareholders’ equity. Revenues and expenses are translated at the average exchange rates in effect during each month of the fiscal year. As such, our financial condition and operating results are affected by fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar as compared to currencies in foreign countries. Revenues denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar represented approximately 9.8%, 9.7% and 8.9% of total consolidated revenues for the fiscal years ended August 30, 2014, August 31, 2013 and August 25, 2012, respectively. Total assets denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar represented approximately 13.0% and 12.1% of total consolidated assets at August 30, 2014 and August 31, 2013, respectively. If exchange rates had increased or decreased by 10% from the actual rates in effect during the year ended August 30, 2014, our revenues and assets for the year ended and as of August 30, 2014 would have increased or decreased by approximately $13.6 million and $18.6 million, respectively.

  

 

We do not operate a hedging program to mitigate the effect of a significant change in the value of our foreign subsidiaries functional currencies, which include the Canadian Dollar, Euro, British Pound, Mexican Peso and Nicaraguan Cordoba, as compared to the U.S. dollar. Any losses or gains resulting from foreign currency transactions, including exchange rate fluctuations on intercompany accounts are reported as transaction losses (gains) in our other (income) expense. The intercompany payables and receivables are denominated in Canadian Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, Mexican Pesos and Nicaraguan Cordoba. During the year ended August 30, 2014, transaction losses included in other (income) expense was approximately $0.3 million. If the exchange rates had changed by 10% during the year ended August 30, 2014, we would have recognized exchange gains or losses of approximately $1.0 million.

 

Interest Rate Sensitivity

 

We are exposed to market risk from changes in interest rates which may adversely affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In seeking to minimize the risks from interest rate fluctuations, we manage these exposures through our regular operating and financing activities. We are exposed to interest rate risk primarily through our borrowings under our Credit Agreement with a syndicate of banks. Under our Credit Agreement, we borrow funds at variable interest rates based on the Eurodollar rate or LIBOR rates. If the LIBOR and Eurodollar rates fluctuated by 10% from the actual rates in effect during the year ended August 30, 2014, our interest expense would have fluctuated by a nominal amount from the interest expense recognized for the year ended August 30, 2014.

 

 

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

Consolidated Statements of Income

UniFirst Corporation and Subsidiaries

 

 

Year ended

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

August 30,

2014

   

August 31,

2013

   

August 25,

2012

 

Revenues

  $ 1,394,897     $ 1,355,515     $ 1,256,289  
                         

Operating expenses:

                       

Cost of revenues (1)

    858,306       836,174       797,944  

Selling and administrative expenses (1)

    271,564       263,531       240,798  

Depreciation and amortization

    71,752       69,607       66,439  

Total operating expenses

    1,201,622       1,169,312       1,105,181  
                         

Income from operations

    193,275       186,203       151,108  
                         

Other (income) expense:

                       

Interest expense

    772       1,651       2,132  

Interest income

    (3,131

)

    (3,201

)

    (2,738

)

Foreign exchange loss

    283       144       980  

Total other (income) expense

    (2,076

)

    (1,406

)

    374  
                         

Income before income taxes

    195,351       187,609       150,734  

Provision for income taxes

    75,426       70,924       55,745  
                         

Net income

  $ 119,925     $ 116,685     $ 94,989  
                         

Income per share – Basic:

                       

Common Stock

  $ 6.29     $ 6.14     $ 5.02  

Class B Common Stock

  $ 5.03     $ 4.91     $ 4.01  
                         

Income per share – Diluted:

                       

Common Stock

  $ 5.95     $ 5.81     $ 4.76  
                         

Income allocated to – Basic:

                       

Common Stock

  $ 94,849     $ 91,916     $ 74,643  

Class B Common Stock

  $ 23,705     $ 22,913     $ 18,630  
                         

Income allocated to – Diluted:

                       

Common Stock

  $ 118,626     $ 114,927     $ 93,358  
                         

Weighted average number of shares outstanding – Basic:

                       

Common Stock

    15,080       14,975       14,882  

Class B Common Stock

    4,711       4,666       4,643  
                         

Weighted average number of shares outstanding – Diluted:

                       

Common Stock

    19,939       19,789       19,616  
                         

Dividends per share:

                       

Common Stock

  $ 0.15     $ 0.15     $ 0.15  

Class B Common Stock

  $ 0.12     $ 0.12     $ 0.12  

 

 

(1)

Exclusive of depreciation on the Company’s property, plant and equipment and amortization of its intangible assets.

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these

Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

 

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income

UniFirst Corporation and Subsidiaries

 

Year ended

(In thousands)

 

August 30,

2014

   

August 31,

2013

   

August 25,

2012

 

Net income

  $ 119,925     $ 116,685     $ 94,989  
                         

Other comprehensive (loss) income:

                       

Foreign currency translation adjustments

    (2,852

)

    (6,081

)

    (2,204

)

Pension benefit liabilities, net of income taxes

    (1,126

)

    255       (362

)

                         

Other comprehensive (loss) income

    (3,978

)

    (5,826

)

    (2,566

)

                         

Comprehensive income

    115,947       110,859       92,423  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these

Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

 

Consolidated Balance Sheets

UniFirst Corporation and Subsidiaries

 

(In thousands, except share and par value data)

 

August 30,

2014

   

August 31,

2013

 

Assets

               

Current assets:

               

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 191,769     $ 197,479  

Receivables, less reserves of $5,114 and $4,894 respectively

    152,523       141,156  

Inventories

    78,858       74,351  

Rental merchandise in service

    146,449       132,630  

Prepaid and deferred income taxes

    13,342       7,099  

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

    6,349       8,679  
                 

Total current assets

    589,290       561,394  
                 

Property, plant and equipment:

               

Land, buildings and leasehold improvements

    393,584       376,222  

Machinery and equipment

    512,842       474,402  

Motor vehicles

    166,573       153,219  
                 

Total property, plant and equipment

    1,072,999       1,003,843  

Less – accumulated depreciation

    586,717       546,157  
                 

Total property, plant and equipment, net

    486,282       457,686  
                 

Goodwill

    303,648       302,363  

Customer contracts, net

    40,210       47,397  

Other intangible assets, net

    1,267       1,947  

Deferred income taxes

    1,403       1,417  

Other assets

    2,061       2,658  

Total assets

  $ 1,424,161     $ 1,374,862  
                 

Liabilities and shareholders’ equity

               

Current liabilities:

               

Loans payable and current maturities of long-term debt

  $ 7,704     $ 111,253  

Accounts payable

    59,177       45,633  

Accrued liabilities

    100,818       95,582  

Accrued and deferred income taxes

    23,342       12,506  
                 

Total current liabilities

    191,041       264,974  
                 

Long-term liabilities:

               

Long-term debt, net of current maturities

    155       155  

Accrued liabilities

    50,235       45,037  

Accrued and deferred income taxes

    48,271       51,298  
                 

Total long-term liabilities

    98,661       96,490  
                 

Commitments and contingencies (Note 10)

               

Shareholders’ equity:

               

Preferred Stock, $1.00 par value; 2,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding

           

Common Stock, $0.10 par value; 30,000,000 shares authorized; 15,189,947 and 15,129,524 issued and outstanding in 2014 and 2013, respectively

    1,519       1,513  

Class B Common Stock, $0.10 par value; 20,000,000 shares authorized; 4,860,519 and 4,873,277 issued and outstanding in 2014 and 2013, respectively

    486       487  

Capital surplus

    59,415       51,445  

Retained earnings

    1,075,572       958,508  

Accumulated other comprehensive income

    (2,533

)

    1,445  
                 

Total shareholders’ equity

    1,134,459       1,013,398  
                 

Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity

  $ 1,424,161     $ 1,374,862  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these

Consolidated Financial Statements. 

 

 

Consolidated Statements of Shareholders’ Equity

UniFirst Corporation and Subsidiaries

 

(In thousands)  

Common

Shares

   

Class B

Common

Shares

   

Common

Stock