United Natural Foods has increased its guidance for the full year 2006 after a strong third quarter. The company reported net income up 15.1% to US$12.3m for the period on the back of revenues of $637.1m, which were up 19.2% on the same period last year.

Strong growth across all major sales channels of the wholesale segment contributed to the record sales.

"Fiscal 2006 continues to be a strong year and we are very proud of our financial performance in the third quarter," said Michael Funk, president and chief executive officer. "We posted another quarter of growth across all three major sales channels and realized a 19% increase in revenues and a 15% increase in earnings. These results reflect the continued strong consumer demand for natural and organic products as well as the underlying strength of our sales channels across all regions in the country."

Funk added: "Looking ahead we remain focused on serving the needs of our customers and committed to our core strategies and approach to the market. Given the continuing strong underlying demand in our markets we remain well positioned to achieve record financial results in fiscal 2006 and to achieve our objectives for growth in fiscal 2007."