Profits at US natural and organic retailer Whole Foods Market have fallen during its fiscal first quarter, hit by costs linked to last year’s acquisition of rival Wild Oats Markets.

Whole Foods booked net profit of US$39.1m for the three months to 20 January, down from $53.8m a year earlier.

Earnings per share fell from $0.38 a share to $0.28 a share, although Whole Foods said that once the impact of the Wild Oats deal was excluded, earnings were $0.36 a share.

Nevertheless, Whole Foods posted a 31.4% rise in sales, which reached $2.5bn. Comparable store sales were up 9.5%; excluding the Wild Oats business, comparable store sales were up 9.3%.

Chairman and CEO John Mackey also shrugged off concerns about a slowing US economy. “Historically, our sales have been highly resilient during economic downturns,” he said. “We are better positioned today than we ever have been from a value perspective.”

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Wild Oats, which Whole Foods acquired in last August, cost the retailer some $11.9m in net income. Mackey said the Whole Foods had been busy revamping the Wild Oats business.

“Wild Oats was a highly centralized company, and we have taken a cautious approach to unplugging the stores from the home office in Boulder,” he said. “As with many of our past mergers, we are making upfront investments to raise the stores up to our high standards, and these costs are in advance of what we expect to be a significant long-term improvement in sales.”