Strong profits reaffirm Whole Foods place in today's grocery landscape

November 11, 2004, as reported by just-food.com: Whole Foods Markets, the supermarket chain known for bringing natural and organic products to the relative mainstream is getting renewed reinforcement that it has indeed found a missing niche in the grocery market.

Company reports show fourth quarter new income is up 27% for the Austin, Texas-based retailer, thanks to strong sales.

The company reported net income of US$30.2m, or 46 cents per share, for the fourth quarter to September 26, compared to $23.8m, or 38 cents per share, for the year-ago period. Sales increased 24% to $927.3m from $750.7m a year earlier.

For the fiscal year, sales increased 23% to $3.9bn, net income increased 32% to $137.1m, and earnings per share increased 26% to $2.09.

"Our fourth quarter results cap off an outstanding year," said John Mackey, chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of Whole Foods Market, adding that the 23% rise in full-year sales came in a year “that has proven to be very challenging for most food retailers”.

The company, which has a stated long-term growth goal of $10bn in sales by the year 2010, said it still expects sales growth of 15% to 20% in fiscal 2005 and comparable store sales growth of 8% to 10%. According to their website Whole Foods is already the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods.




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