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Whole Foods Market Reports Third Quarter Results

AUSTIN, Texas, July 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Nasdaq:WFM) today reported results for the 12-week third quarter ended July 7, 2013. All references to shares outstanding and per share amounts are adjusted to reflect a two-for-one stock split on May 29, 2013.

For the quarter, sales increased 12% to $3.1 billion. Comparable store sales increased 7.5%, and identical store sales, excluding four relocations and one expansion, increased 7.2%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") increased 17% from the prior year to $306 million or 10.0% of sales, net income increased 21% to $142 million, and diluted earnings per share increased 20% to $0.38.

"We are dedicated to providing communities with fresh, healthy, natural and organic food and are on track to deliver our fourth consecutive year of increases in new store openings. We continue to gain market share and see demand for 1,000 Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. alone," said Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market. "Our outstanding operational performance is funding our growth, and our new stores are creating a cycle of innovation across the company. We have signed 50 new leases over the last 12 months, increasing our development pipeline to 94 leases, and expect accelerating square footage growth for several years to come."

The following table shows the Company's sales results for the last four quarters and for the first three weeks of the fourth quarter through July 28, 2013. Comparable and identical store sales growth for all quarters is calculated on a same-calendar-week to same-calendar-week basis. Sales growth in Q4 of fiscal year 2012 is presented on a 12-week to 12-week basis.

  4Q12 1Q13 2Q13   3Q13 (i) QTD 4Q13
               
Sales growth 14.1% 13.7% 13.3%   12.1% (ii)  
               
Comparable store sales growth 8.5% 7.2% 6.9%   7.5%   5.8%
Two-year comps 17.3% 15.9% 15.9% (iii) 16.4% (iii) 15.6%
               
Identical store sales growth 8.3% 7.1% 6.6%   7.2%   5.5%
Two-year idents 16.7% 15.3% 15.0% (iii) 15.8% (iii) 14.9%
               
(i)Includes an estimated 45 basis point positive impact from the Team Member Appreciation Double Discount Day
(ii)Positive impact from Team Member Appreciation Double Discount Day offset by a decrease in wholesale revenue 
(iii)Adjusted for the Q2 positive impact and Q3 negative impact of the Easter shift in fiscal year 2012 versus 2011

For the quarter, gross profit increased 61 basis points to 36.6% of sales driven by improvements in cost of goods sold and occupancy costs as a percentage of sales. LIFO was a $0.5 million credit this year versus a $1.0 million charge in the prior year, a positive impact of five basis points. Direct store expenses increased 27 basis points to 25.6% of sales. Leverage in wages was more than offset by increases in team member benefits, primarily team member discount costs related to Team Member Appreciation Double Discount Day. As a result, store contribution improved 35 basis points to 11.0% of sales.

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