Whole Foods Q3 profit jumps 88%, but tempers expectations going forward

Austin, Texas Whole Foods Market on Tuesday said third-quarter net income almost doubled as sales rose and costs fell. But the retailer tempered its sales expectations for the July to September period, citing the competitive grocery environment and uncertain economy. The chain also announced six new leases.

Whole Foods said it earned $65.7 million, up 88% from $35 million a year earlier. Revenue grew 15% to $2.16 billion. Same-store sales rose 8.4%, the third consecutive quarter of gains.

“We are pleased with our results, which compare very favorably to most other food retailers and show we are continuing to gain market share,” said John Mackey, co-chief executive officer and co-founder of Whole Foods Market.

The company also said it recently signed six new leases averaging 33,900 sq. ft. each in San Francisco; Boise, Idaho; Minneapolis; Austin, Texas (two sites); and Washington, D.C., for stores currently scheduled to open in fiscal year 2012 and beyond.

“We have eight leases in negotiation and expect an accelerated pace of lease signings to translate into a higher number of new store openings starting in 2012,” Mackey said.

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