US grocer The Fresh Market has upped its full-year profit forecast after an increase in first-half earnings.

The retailer raised its full-year outlook to earnings of $1.33 to $1.38 per share with 5.5% to 6.5% same-store sales growth. That is up from its previously increased guidance of $1.28 to $1.34 per share on same-store sales growth of 4.5% to 6.5%.

Earnings in the six months to the end of June, increased 35.9% to US$32.6m. The second quarter included $1.1m of transaction costs related to its IPO and legal settlement payments, while the year-ago quarter included a $6m income-tax provision.

Operating income increased 25.9% to $52.8m, the retailer reported. As a percentage of sales, operating margin increased by 80 basis points to 8.3% for in the first half from 7.5% last year. This was a result of an increase in gross margin rate and a year-over-year decrease of transaction expenses related to its IPO.

Net sales climbed 21.7% to $637.8m. Comparable-store sales increased 8.1%.

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