Whole Foods Q3 profit jumps 35%, on track to open near dozen stores
Austin — Whole Foods Market reported Wednesday a profit jump of 35% to $88.5 million, compared with $65.7 million in the year-earlier period.
Revenue rose 11% to $2.4 billion, meeting Wall Street expectations, and same-store sales rose 8.4%.
With its strong showing, particularly as its traditional grocer peers struggle with shrinking margins and curbed spending, Whole Foods raised its full-year forecast and said it would add stores in 2011. On the heels of seven store openings in the third quarter, including three relocations, and two openings so far in the fourth quarter, the grocer said it expects to add three additional new stores in the fourth quarter and is on track to open another eight in 2012.
"We are continuing to gain market share at a faster rate than most public food retailers as reflected in our 8.5% comparable store sales growth year to date,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of the company. "We see a new era of possibility for Whole Foods Market as customers increasingly embrace healthier lifestyles, and we look forward to accelerating our growth in the coming years."
FMI names Heather Garlich director of media, public relations
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Food Marketing Institute on Wednesday named Heather Garlich as the association’s director of media and public relations. She will be responsible for managing communications outreach and information activities related to FMI’s strategic goals, including government relations, food safety, conferences and events, and industry relations.
“We are pleased to welcome Heather to the FMI communications team,” FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin said. “Her wealth of experience in consumer, trade and government communications, coupled with her skills in media relations, will most decidedly enrich FMI’s presence as the voice of the food retail community.”
Prior to joining FMI, Garlich spent nearly four years at Porter Novelli Public Services in the food and nutrition practice. At the firm, she held management roles on numerous clients, such as Welch’s, Almond Board of California and Pharmavite, developing business plans related to nutrition policy, food science and current trends. Garlich’s experience spans multiple communications platforms, including stakeholder relations, traditional press and digital media strategies.
In addition, Garlich’s history includes trade associations, as she previously served as the manager for member communications at the Grocery Manufacturing Association and was an integral part of the 2006 merger of GMA and the Food Products Association. Garlich holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a journalism concentration from the University of Delaware.
Mixed results for Lumber Liquidators in second quarter
TOANO, Va. — Lumber Liquidators second-quarter sales increased 4% to $175.5 million, up from $168.7 million in the same quarter last year.
But at comparable-stores decreased 7.9%, and net income decreased to $5.3 million in the second quarter, down from $9.1 million in the second quarter of the prior year.
CEO Jeffrey W. Griffiths stated: “Our second quarter net sales and earnings per diluted share were in-line with our revised expectations communicated earlier this month. As we previously reported, we believe value-conscious consumers became more price sensitive and cautious in their discretionary spending in the second quarter. However, our annual Big Sale drew a strong customer response due to the strength of our value proposition and targeted promotional pricing. We remain focused on further improving our operations and building a foundation for long-term success and believe that we are well positioned to continue our growth.”
Gross margin decreased from 34.7% in the second quarter of 2010 to 34.0% in the second quarter of 2011. High transportation costs, a greater proportion of net sales at promotional prices, and increased investment in international quality control procedures, were all cited as factors that negatively affected the gross margin for the second quarter, though these were said to have been partially offset by benefits from sourcing initiatives and net sales mix shifts.
Selling, general and administrative expenses for the second quarter of 2011 were $51.1 million, or 29.1% of net sales. This compares to $43.9 million, or 26.0% of net sales, for the second quarter of 2010.
The company outlook for 2011 includes an expectation of net sales for the full year in the range of $670 million to $700 million with third quarter net sales in the range of $165 million to $180 million, and fourth quarter net sales in the range of $170 million to $185 million.
Comparable-store net sales for the full year are expected to decrease in the low single digits with third quarter comparable store net sales ranging from a decrease of 1% to an increase of 8%, and fourth quarter comparable store net sales ranging from a decrease of 3% to an increase of 6%.