GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Fresh Market here said Wednesday that sales and profits were up more than analysts expected in the second quarter.
Net income for the 13-week period, which ended July 31, was $10.5 million, which was up over pro forma net income of $6.9 million in the year-ago period. Sales were up 13.6%, to $259.5 million, and comparable-store sales were up 4.6%, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of 4%-plus comps.
Reported net income in the year-ago period, before the company had an initial public offering, was $11.3 million.
"We are happy to report another healthy quarter of both sales and earnings growth," said Craig Carlock, president and chief executive officer. "As revenues grew, we also continued to expand our margins. In the second quarter, we increased our operating margin from 5.2% last year to 6.5% this year despite pressure from rising food and commodity costs and despite the additional costs incurred related to being a publicly traded company."
During the second quarter, The Fresh Market opened five new stores in Boca Raton, Fla.; Evansville, Ind.; Pawleys Island, S.C.; Montvale, N.J.; and Vienna, Va. The company plans a total of 12 to 14 new store openings for the full year. It recent signed leases for stores in Milwaukee; New Orleans; Richmond, Va.; and Pinecrest, Fla.
Through the first half, net income totaled $24 million, vs. pro forma net income of $19.1 million a year ago. Sales totaled $524 million, up 11.8%, and comps rose 4.3%. The company projected comp-store sales gains of 4% to 5% for the full year.