PHOENIX — Sprouts Farmers Market  here said Thursday it is raising its financial guidance following strong results for the third quarter and 39 weeks ended Sept. 29.
Reflecting its merger in May 2012 with Sunflower Farmers Market, net income for the 13-week quarter rose to $11.5 million, compared with $1.3 million a year ago, while sales climbed 24.2% to $633.6 million and comparable store sales increased 10.2%. For the 39-week period net income grew to $42.1 million, compared with $16.2 million in the year-ago period, while sales jumped 39.1% to $1.8 billion.
According to Doug Sanders, president and chief executive officer, "Our positive first-half momentum continued, [which] gives us confidence in the power of our model and the ability to increase our guidance for the year."
Read more: Sprouts to End Insurance for Some Workers 
The company is projecting net income of $48 million to $50 million, compared with earlier guidance of $44 million to $47 million; expects sales growth between 20% and 21%, compared with previous guidance of 19% to 20%; and anticipates comps will increase 9% to 9.5%, up from 8.5% to 9%.
Sprouts operates 167 stores in eight states, including seven new stores opened during the quarter – four in Texas, two in Arizona and one in Colorado — for a total of 19 openings this year. Sanders said the company has more than 55 leases in its pipeline for 2014 and beyond, including 30 that have been signed.
Sprouts also announced Thursday it has filed a registration statement for a public offering for the sale of up to 22.5 million shares of common stock by affiliates of Apollo Global Management and certain other stockholders.
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