Thursday, May 13, 2010

Whole Foods Boosts Sales Forecast As Economy Lifts Specialty Grocers

"Whole Foods Market, Inc., said quarterly profit more than doubled and raised its 2010 sales forecast, reflecting an improving economy that’s bolstering organic and specialty grocers.

Comparable-store sales are expected to increase 6% to 7% during fiscal 2010, compared with a previous forecast for 3.5% to 5.5% growth, Austin, Tex.-based Whole Foods said in a May 12 statement. Whole Foods shares today rose to a 2 ½-year high.

Whole Foods has shaken off the recession and will accelerate store openings in coming years, chief executive officer John Mackey said. By 2013, the company plans to add another 47 stores to the 295 it already operates in the U.S., Canada and UK.

“We have successfully emerged from this recession with a healthier balance sheet,” Mackey said in the May 12 statement. “Our new stores are performing very well, and we look forward to rebuilding our store development pipeline.”"

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