• Net income up 79%
  • Sales up 14%
  • Share price up 1.6%
Whole Foods Market recorded a strong first quarter

Whole Foods Market recorded a strong first quarter

Whole Foods Market has increased its sales and earnings per share forecasts for the 2011 fiscal year on the back of strong first-quarter results.

The US health food retailer yesterday (9 February) increased its diluted EPS targetto US$1.76-1.8 a share, up on the $1.66-1.71 a share it previously forecast. It is expecting sales to grow 10.7-12.8%, up on the 10-12% previously forecast.

"Based on our consistently strong top- and bottom-line results, along with ongoing signs of increasing consumer confidence, we are raising our sales and earnings outlook for the year," said co-CEO Walter Robb.

"Our new range for identical-store sales growth of 7% to 9% appropriately reflects that we have yet to cycle over our toughest comparisons, while also allowing for the possibility that our 9% year-to-date results could be sustainable especially given the likelihood of some positive impact from inflation."

The announcement came as the chain recorded a 79% increase in net income to reach $88.7m, while sales rose 14% to $3bn.

The retailer said that identical-store sales were up 9.1% on the same quarter of the previous year.

Shares in the company were up 1.5% on the market's close yesterday to $53.75 a share.

Click here for the retailer's full earnings statement.