US retailer The Fresh Market has forecast slowing sales and earnings after a “record” 12 months.
The company, which runs 130 stores across 25 states, reported “record” annual sales and profits for the year to 27 January.
It posted a 24.8% increase in full-year net income for the year to US$64.1m. Diluted earnings per share were up 24.4%.
Net sales rose 20% to $1.33bn on the back of new stores and a 5.7% increase in comparable-store sales.
“Fiscal 2012 was a terrific year for The Fresh Market,” president and CEO Craig Carlock said.
Carlock admitted The Fresh Market saw a “sudden slowdown” in customers in the fourth quarter. The retailer reported a 1.9% increase in comparable-store sales in the last quarter of its financial year.
The Fresh Market has forecast a 14-19% increase in diluted EPS in its new financial year. Carlock said changes to the timetable of store openings would “dampen” the retailer’s earnings. The retailer also set a target for comparable-store sales to increase 2-4% this year.
Carlock said: “We enter fiscal 2013 with a balanced view. We are simultaneously taking a conservative view on consumer trends while remaining enthusiastic about the portability of our concept, and excited about our plans to accelerate square footage growth.”