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Wild Oats Reports Profit Gain in Second Quarter

BOULDER, Colo. - Leading natural and organic foods retailer Wild Oats Markets Inc. today announced financial results for the second quarter and first half ended June 28, 2003. In the second quarter of 2003, the company's net income increased 45.7 percent to $2.2 million, or $0.07 per share, on sales of $242.2 million, as compared to the same period last year.

"We are encouraged by the progress we've made to drive sustainable long-term growth for this company," said president and CEO Perry D. Odak. "Despite a continuing soft economy and internal initiatives that have had a short-term adverse impact on our results, but are intended to build a foundation for growth, we were able to drive significant profitability gains and we have begun to see gradual improvement in our sales results."

Net sales in the second quarter of 2003 were $242.2 million, up 2.6 percent compared with $236.2 million in the second quarter of 2002. The sales gain was driven by the addition of three new stores to the company's portfolio in the first quarter, which more than offset the sale or closure of four stores year-over-year. Sales in the second quarter were also boosted by the shift of the Easter holiday into the second quarter of 2003, which had a 25 basis point positive impact on comparable store sales.

Comparable store sales in the second quarter of 2003 were negative 0.1 percent compared to positive same-store sales of 5.2 percent in the second quarter of 2002. The decline, as well as a decrease in customer traffic, was due in part to the company's SKU reduction program, transition to a new private label program, remodeling and resetting activity, and road construction.

As previously announced, Wild Oats plans to open two new stores in the third quarter of 2003 -- the first of which was opened August 6, 2003 in Lexington, Ky. The company will open a new store in Franklin, Tenn. in September and will add three new Wild Oats stores -- in Park City, Utah; Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo. -- and one Henry's Marketplace in Chino Hills, Calf. in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Wild Oats announced it is on track to open 15 to 20 new stores in 2004 and 20 to 25 new stores in 2005.
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