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The Fresh Market, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2013 Earnings

- Earnings Per Diluted Share Increased 14.6% to $0.46

- Net Sales Increased 12.9%

- Comparable Store Sales Increased 3.0%

GREENSBORO, N.C., May 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Fresh Market, Inc. (Nasdaq:TFM), a high-growth specialty retailer, today announced unaudited sales and earnings results for its first quarter ended April 28, 2013.

Financial Overview

In the first quarter of fiscal 2013, net sales increased 12.9% to $366.6 million and comparable store sales increased 3.0%, compared to the corresponding thirteen week period ended April 29, 2012. Net income in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was $22.1 million, compared to $19.3 million in the corresponding thirteen week period in fiscal 2012. Diluted earnings per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were $0.46, an increase of 14.6% over diluted earnings per share of $0.40 for the corresponding thirteen week period in fiscal 2012.

Craig Carlock, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "We were pleased to see our business and customer traffic improve in the first quarter. New store development remains on track and our solid results give us confidence as we assess customer behavior and our outlook for the balance of the year."

Operating Performance

First quarter total net sales increased 12.9% to $366.6 million and comparable store sales increased 3.0% to $312.9 million, compared to the corresponding thirteen week period in fiscal 2012. The first quarter comparable store sales increase resulted from a 2.4% increase in average transaction size and a 0.6% increase in the number of transactions.

The Company's gross profit increased 14.8%, or $16.6 million, to $129.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, compared to the corresponding thirteen week period of fiscal 2012. For the same period, the gross margin rate increased 60 basis points to 35.3% compared to the corresponding prior year period. This increase in the Company's gross margin rate was primarily attributable to an increase in the merchandise margin, and also reflected a 10 basis point reduction in LIFO expense as a percentage of sales.

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