Whole Foods reports 26% rise in 3Q profit; beats analyst’ expectations

Whole Foods Markets

Reporting its results for the latest fiscal quarter on Tuesday, the Austin, Texas-based organic and natural foods grocer Whole Foods Markets Inc. said that its quarterly profit and revenue had shown an increase.

Reflecting signs of bouncing back from the slump in sales amid recession, US' largest natural-goods grocer said that its third-quarter profit has increased 26 percent to $42.8 million, or 25 cents per share. The figures not only surpassed the last year same quarter profit of $34 million, or 24 cents per share, but also beat the average analysts' estimates of 20 cents per share.

Though Whole Foods' comparable-store sales dropped 2.5 percent, its revenue for the quarter, ending July 5, stood at $1.9 billion from the previous quarter revenue figures of $1.8 billion.

Crediting the company's notable results to the measures undertaken for balancing sales and gross margins, and its strong cost control, Chairman and CEO John Mackey said: "We are very pleased with our third quarter top-line and bottom-line results."

Addressing analysts on a conference call, Whole Foods' CEO John Mackey said that with the company recording "stabilizing sales in almost every region," possibly "the economy is firming up and people are feeling like we are going to avoid a depression."

With a total workforce of nearly 51,000 employees worldwide, Whole Foods operates over 275 stores in the US, Canada and the UK.

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