Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market is reporting that, in its third fiscal quarter ending Oct. 28, net sales increased 22.1 percent to $321.5 million and comparable store sales increased 5.6 percent, compared to the corresponding 13-week period last year. Net income in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 increased 19.0 percent to $10.9 million, from $9.2 million in the corresponding 13-week period in fiscal 2011. Diluted earnings per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $0.23, an increase of 18.5 percent over diluted earnings per share of $0.19 for the corresponding period in fiscal 2011.
Year-to-date fiscal 2012 net sales were $959.3 million, a 21.8 percent increase as compared to the corresponding 39-week period in fiscal 2011, while comparable store sales increased 7.3 percent. Net income increased 31.2 percent to $43.5 million as compared to $33.1 million in the corresponding 39-week period in fiscal 2011. Year-to-date diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2012 increased 30.8 percent, to $0.90, compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.69 for the corresponding 39-week period in fiscal 2011.
“We are pleased that our strong sales and earnings growth continued in the third quarter,” says Craig Carlock, president and CEO of The Fresh Market. “Our comparable store sales grew 5.6 percent, and importantly, customer transactions grew nicely even as we cycled on solid transaction growth during last year’s third quarter. Additionally, during the quarter, we opened six new stores, including our first California store. Subsequent to quarter-end, we entered into four leases for new stores in Houston, Texas, that we expect to open in the latter half of fiscal 2013. Our store openings in Houston will mark our entrance into Texas, just as our store opening this quarter in the Sacramento area marked our entrance into California. We’ll be excited to have operations in the two most populous states in the nation.
“Net, we remain enthusiastic about the consistency of our business, the portability of our concept, and the franchise we are building in the real estate marketplace,” he adds. “At this time, we affirm our fiscal 2012 earnings guidance. We anticipate that fiscal 2012 comparable store sales growth will be 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent and that our earnings per share will be $1.33 to $1.38, an increase of approximately 25 percent to 29 percent over fiscal 2011. These earnings growth rates include the absorption of equity offering transaction expenses and incremental legal costs incurred during the fiscal year.”
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CFO Klinger resigning from company
Lisa Klinger, the EVP and CFO of The Fresh Market, is resigning from her post.
The company reports that Klinger has accepted a similar position with an apparel retailer. Her last day is Dec. 7.
The Fresh Market hired Klinger in 2009. Prior to that she was SVP of finance and treasurer of Michaels Stores. Her retail background also includes Limited Brands Inc. and Red Roof Inn.
Carlock says Klinger “was instrumental in leading the company through its successful IPO in 2010.
Sean Crane, The Fresh Market’s EVP and COO, will serve as interim CFO while the company searches for Klinger’s replacement. VP and Controller Jeff Short will act as the company’s interim principal accounting officer.