US speciality retailer The Fresh Market has booked an increase is profit in the third quarter.

Earnings in the three months ended 28 October climbed 19% to US$10.9m, the company reported yesterday (28 November). CEO Craig Carlock said the company was “pleased” with its growth after the group opened six new stores and the number of transactions across its network rose for the period.

Operating profit amounted to $17.9m, a 23% increase on the prior year period. Sales increased 22.1% to $321.5m. Comparable store sales increased 5.6%.

“We remain enthusiastic about the consistency of our business, the portability of our concept, and the franchise we are building in the real estate marketplace,” said CEO Craig Carlock.

The group reaffirmed its fiscal 2012 earnings guidance of $1.33 to $1.38 and sales growth of 5.5% to 6.5%.