• Whole Foods ups diluted EPS guidance to $2.44-2.47
  • H1 net income increased 32%
  • Sales grew 13%

US natural and organic grocer Whole Foods Market has raised its full-year earnings guidance after posting a 32% increase in half-year profits. 

The company expects diluted earnings per share to reach US$2.44-2.47 for its current financial year, which would be an increase of up to 28%. Its previous forecast was for earnings to be $2.28-2.32 a share.

Whole Foods also forecast sales would now rise 14.8-15.6%, compared to previous guidance of a 13.5-15% increase. The retailer's current fiscal year will last 53 weeks due to an extra week in the fourth quarter.

This is the second time the grocer has upped its guidance during this fiscal year. It raised its forecasts after booking an increase in first-quarter profits in February.

"Our exceptional results in the first half of the year have given us the confidence to significantly raise our guidance for the full year," said Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb. "We are confident that our sales momentum and operating disciplines will create continued positive results for our shareholders."

For the 28 weeks to 8 April, net income increased 32% to $236m. Operating income grew 31.1% to $379.7m. EBITDA was up 23% at $542.2m.

Sales climbed 13% to $6.1bn. Identical-store sales increased 8.6%, including the benefit of an early Easter, which boosted identical-store sales by 2.5 percentage points.

Click here for the full statement.