Whole Food Q2 profit surges 31%; on track to open 24 to 27 stores

Austin, Texas -- In what it called the best quarter in its 32-year history, Whole Foods Market’s second-quarter profit jumped nearly 31% on stronger sales. The company raised its full-year outlook on the results.

“Our exceptional results in the first half of the year have given us the confidence to significantly raise our guidance for the full year. We are confident that our sales momentum and operating disciplines will create continued positive results for our shareholders," Walter Robb, co-CEO said in a statement.

Whole Foods earned a better-than-expected $117.7 million for the quarter that ended April 8, up from $89.9 million in the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose nearly 14% to $2.67 billion, in line with expectations. Same-store sales rose 9.5%.

Co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey said that new Whole Food stores continued to show great year-over-year improvement and operating performance in the second quarter. Compared with last year’s class of new stores, this year’s class is 14% smaller in size, averaging 38,000 sq. ft., and produced average weekly sales per store of $576,000 translating to 23% higher sales per square foot of $791, Mackey said.

Whole Foods has signed 33 new leases over the last 12 months and is on track to open between 24 to 27 new stores in fiscal 2012, and 28 to 32 new stores in fiscal 2013.

“We currently have in development 70 stores totaling 2.5 million sq. ft., which translates to about 21% of our operating store base,” Mackey said on the call.

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