November 8, 2013

Whole Foods Market profits up in Q4

American grocer Whole Foods Market reported a higher fourth-quarter (Q4) profit as sales marginally grew for its natural and organic food products, and margins climbed.

By admin-demo

The chain’s net income amounted $121m in Q4, compared with $113m in the corresponding period last year while revenue for the quarter rose to $2.98bn from $2.91bn a year ago.

On a same-store basis, sales for the quarter were up 5.9%, which is lower compared with 7.5% growth in the sequential quarter and 8.5% a year ago.

Gross margin for the fourth quarter expanded 37 basis points to 35.6%.

During the quarter, Whole Foods opened 12 stores and now runs 367 stores in total.

Further, the company plans to open 1,000 stores in the US alone.

Commenting on the Q4 figures Whole Foods Market co-founder and co-chief executive officer John Mackey said, "For the last four years, we have increased our new store openings while producing improvements in operating margin and higher returns on invested capital, and we expect these trends to continue in fiscal year 2014."

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The grocery retailer opined that its strength lies in store openings even as it faces rivalry from Fairway Group Holdings (FWM) and Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM) as well as Kroger.

Whole Foods Market is a natural and organic foods retailer based in the US. The company offers a wide range of produce, meat, poultry, seafood, grocery, bakery, prepared foods, catering products, coffee, tea, nutritional supplements, vitamins, body care, household products, floral items and pet products.

It also retails an assortment of specialty products including beer, wine and cheese besides offering educational products such as books.