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Whole Foods Market Reports Record Sales and Earnings in Fourth Quarter

AUSTIN, Texas - Organic and natural foods retailer Whole Foods Market Inc. on Wednesday reported record sales and earnings for the second fiscal quarter (twelve weeks) ended April 14, 2002. Sales for the quarter increased 21 percent over the prior year driven by 17 percent square footage growth and better than expected comparable store sales growth of 10.1 percent. Sales in identical stores (excluding three relocated stores) increased 9.1 percent for the quarter. Income from continuing operations for the quarter increased 36 percent to $20.2 million from $14.9 million in the prior year, and diluted earnings per share increased 26 percent to $0.34, compared to $0.27 in the prior year.

For the 28-week period ended April 14, 2002, sales increased 21 percent, with sales in comparable stores increasing 9.8 percent and sales in identical stores increasing 8.2 percent. Income from continuing operations increased 35 percent to $40.4 million, or $0.68 per share, compared to $30.0 million, or $0.54 per share in the prior year.

"We are delighted to report our tenth consecutive quarter of 20 percent plus sales growth," said John Mackey, chairman, president and CEO of Whole Foods Market. "We are translating our strong sales growth into sound bottom line results with record store contribution profit of over 10 percent of sales and a 26 percent increase in earnings per share."

For all stores, store contribution increased 56 basis points to a record 10.3 percent of sales, gross profit increased 8 basis points to 35.0 percent of sales, and direct store expenses improved 48 basis points to 24.8 percent of sales. For stores in the comparable store base, store contribution increased 59 basis points to 11.0 percent of sales, gross profit improved 12 basis points to 35.7 percent of sales and direct store expenses improved 47 basis points to 24.7 percent of sales.
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