LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Comparable-store sales rose in double digits in the second fiscal quarter at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage  here, the company said Thursday.
Net income at the organic -product specialty chain grew 29.5% to $3.2 million in the second quarter, on a 25.4% increase in sales, to $106.5 million. Comps — expressed as a daily average to remove the impact of two extra days in this year’s quarter — rose 10.6%.
On a pro forma basis — reflecting the acquisition of a controlling interest in a group that operated five of its stores as if that had happened before last year’s second quarter — net income rose 20.6% in this year’s quarter.
Gross margin decreased to 29.9% of sales during the second quarter, vs. 30.2% in the second quarter of fiscal 2012, due to a shift in product mix toward products with slightly lower margins, partially offset by purchasing improvements, the company said.
Read more: Natural Grocers Plans Oregon Expansion 
Through the first half, net income rose 56.5% over year-ago results, to $5.4 million, on a 26.6% increase in sales, to $202.3 million. Daily average comps in the first half were up 11.6%, reflecting a 6.6% increase in transactions and a 4.7% increase in transaction size.
During the second quarter, Natural Grocers opened four new stores, bringing the total store count to 65 locations in 13 states. It plans to open 13 stores in fiscal year 2013, and it opened its first store of the third quarter in Kalispell, Mont.
Leases have been signed for locations in Idaho Falls, Idaho; Shawnee and Topeka, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Tulsa, Okla.; Beaverton, Bend, Gresham and Salem, Ore.; and Wichita Falls, Texas.
|Suggested Categories||More from Supermarketnews|