Canadian natural and organic retailer Planet Organic posted an 11.5% increase in third-quarter sales today (29 May) and said it remains “optimistic” given the current environment.

Consolidated sales for the quarter ended 31 March reached C$33.1m (US$30.2m)
compared to C$29.7m for the same period last year.

The Planet Organic market division showed same-store sales growth of -0.40% for the quarter. Total revenues at the division grew from C$14.4m to C$15.4m, an increase of 6.9%.

Mrs Green’s Natural Market, the company’s US division, showed same-store sales growth of -2.9% for the period. In US dollars, total revenues at the division decreased to $11.2m from $11.5m.

“We remain optimistic about our sales given the current economic environment in both Canada and the US,” said CFO Darren Krissie. “We continue to focus on serving our customers and increasing our efficiencies as best we can.”

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For the nine months ended 31 March, the company generated sales of C$95.2m versus C$82.9m in 2008.

Earlier this week the company’s president and CEO Ron Francisco stepped down as it warned the group expects to break more covenants on its lending agreements.

Planet Organic said it “remains in default of its debt covenants” and said “additional covenants” would be breached for the first quarter of the year.