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Whole Foods Market Reports Sales Increase for Fourth Quarter

AUSTIN, Texas - Whole Foods Market Inc. on Wednesday reported sales and earnings for the 13-week quarter and 53-week fiscal year ended September 30, 2001. Sales for the quarter increased 21% on an adjusted basis over the prior year, slightly above the company's 15% to 20% guidance.

This increase was driven by year-over-year square footage growth of 13% and stronger than expected comparable store sales growth of 10.2%. Comparable store sales increased 9.2% for the year. Sales in identical stores increased 8.8% for the quarter and 8.0% for the year.

On a pro forma basis, income for the quarter increased 17% to $16.7 million from $13.2 million in the prior year, and diluted earnings per share increased 12% to $0.29, compared to $0.24 in the prior year; income for the fiscal year increased to $62.9 million, or $1.12 per share, compared to $54.0 million, or $0.99 per share in the prior year.

?We are very pleased with our results for the quarter and for the fiscal year,? said John Mackey, chairman, CEO and president of Whole Foods Market. ?Despite a slowing economy and a sharp increase in utilities expense, we delivered strong top and bottom line growth.?

Whole Foods Market is the world's largest natural and organic supermarket. In fiscal year 2001, the Company had sales of $2.3 billion and currently has 130 stores in the United States.
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