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The Fresh Market, Inc. Reports Second Quarter And First Half Fiscal 2012 Earnings

Total sales increased 20.6% for the second quarter and 21.7% for the first half

Comparable store sales increased 8.0% for the second quarter and 8.1% for the first half

Company raises guidance for fiscal 2012

GREENSBORO, N.C., Aug. 29, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Fresh Market, Inc. (Nasdaq:TFM), a high-growth specialty retailer, today announced unaudited sales and earnings results for its second quarter and first half period ended July 29, 2012.

Financial Overview

In the second quarter of fiscal 2012, net sales increased 20.6% to $313.0 million and comparable store sales increased 8.0%, compared to the corresponding thirteen week period last year. Net income in the second quarter of fiscal 2012 increased 26.9% to $13.3 million, from $10.5 million in the corresponding thirteen week period in fiscal 2011. Diluted earnings per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2012 was $0.28, an increase of 26.4% over diluted earnings per share of $0.22 for the corresponding period in fiscal 2011.

First half fiscal 2012 net sales were $637.8 million, a 21.7% increase as compared to the corresponding twenty-six week period in fiscal 2011, while comparable store sales increased 8.1%. Net income increased 35.9% to $32.6 million as compared to $24.0 million in the corresponding twenty-six week period in fiscal 2011. Diluted earnings per share for first half fiscal 2012 increased 35.5%, to $0.68, compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.50 for the corresponding twenty-six week period in fiscal 2011. Items described under "Items Impacting Comparability" (below) impact the comparability of quarterly and first half results and should be reviewed by investors in order to assess the Company's ongoing operations on a comparable basis.

"We are extremely pleased with our strong second quarter performance for both sales and earnings growth," said Craig Carlock, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our comparable store sales grew 8.0% in the second quarter, led by customer transactions and continuing the sales momentum we've seen over the past several quarters. Additionally, during the quarter we opened five new stores, we made significant progress on our California expansion plans and, despite incremental public company expenses, transactions costs due to our public offering and legal settlement costs incurred during the quarter, we were able to increase our operating margin to 6.9%. We continue to be extremely enthusiastic about the consistency of our business and are therefore raising our fiscal 2012 guidance to reflect not only the strong first half performance but our continued confidence in our second half growth prospects. We now believe that fiscal 2012 comparable sales growth will be 5.5% to 6.5% and that our earnings per share will be between $1.33 and $1.38, including the absorption of equity offering transaction expenses and incremental legal costs incurred this quarter."

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