Share prices in Sprouts Farmers Markets rose in pre-trading in New York today (28 February) after the US retailer posted higher fourth-quarter sales and earnings.

Net profit for the quarter to 29 December stood at US$9.3m, up from $3.3m.

Adjusted net income after excluding items including acquisition and integration costs related to Sprouts' purchase of fellow natural and organic retailer Sunflower Farmers Market more than doubled to $11.4m.

Operating profit rose by $7.2m. Net sales for the period were up 27% to $608.2m. Pro-forma comparable-store sales climbed 13.8%.

For the year as a whole, Sprouts posted a net profit of $51.3m, up from $19.5m. Adjusted net income rose by 69% to $67.4m.

Operating income was $139.5m, up from $70.7m.

Pro-forma net sales were up 22% to $2.44bn "driven by the Sunflower transaction an increase in comparable store sales growth and new store openings". Pro-forma same-store sales were up 10.7%.

Sprouts opened 19 new stores during fiscal 2013, which represented unit growth of 13%.

Doug Sanders, president and CEO, said: "In 2013 we crossed the $2bn sales milestone with the opening of 19 stores and strong same-store sales growth resulting in an increase of 22% in pro-forma net sales and 69% increase in adjusted pro-forma net income. This record performance, in our first year as a public company, demonstrates Sprouts' ability to create value, build trust and deliver on our strategy to successfully grow our company."

For the full year 2014 the company has issued the following outlook: net sales growth of 16% to 18%; a 7-8% increase in comparable-store sales; and a 30%-plus jump in adjusted net income.

Shares in Sprouts were up 1.31% at $37.95 in pre-market trading on the NASDAQ.

Click here for the full results.