Austin, TX—Whole Foods Market (WFM) had an impressive third-quarter increase, according to a financial report (ending July 1) released last week by the grocery chain giant.

WFM earned $2.7 billion in Q3, marking a 14% leap from the previous quarter. Forty-week sales are $8.8 billion. The Q3 increase came with an impressive gross profit bump, too; it increased 62 basis points to 36% of sales. Stated the company, “Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) increased 26% from the prior year to $260.6 million, net income increased 32% to $116.8 million, and diluted earnings per share increased 27% to $0.63.”

Physical growth was evident at WFM this past quarter, too. The chain expanded three stores, relocated one store and opened nine new locations. It expects to have a total of 25 new stores before the fiscal year closes, which adds to the chain's already 329 stores, totaling 12.5 million ft2.

The ink is signed on 12 new leases (averaging 37,700 ft2) for WFM in Palm Desert, CA; Pompano Beach, FL; Park Ridge, IL; Wichita, KS; Boston, MA; Columbia, MD; Kansas City, MO; Lincoln, NE; Parsippany, NJ; Wynnewood, PA;  Dallas, TX; and Houston, TX. They are slated to open in fiscal year 2014 and later.

Walter Robb, WFM co-chief executive officer, was pleased with the results, noting that the chain's accelerated growth plans seem to be working. “We believe we will continue to gain market share through further differentiating our shopping experience, improving our relative value positioning and reinforcing our position as America's healthiest grocery store.”


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, Sept. 2012 (online 7/30/12)