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Whole Foods Q4 income surges 31%

Austin, Texas -- Whole Foods Market reported that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 31% to $75.5 million on higher sales, beating analysts' expectations. But the company's outlook for next year's profit fell just short of what analysts forecast on average.

Revenue increased 12% to $2.35 billion.

"Our outlook for fiscal year 2012 reflects consistent identical store sales growth, a record number of new store openings, EBITDA of close to $1 billion, and significant operating margin improvement,” said John Mackey, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market.

For all of fiscal 2011, Whole Foods reported net income of $342.6 million, compared with $245.8 million in fiscal 2010. Revenue in 2011 was $10.1 billion, compared with $9 billion in 2010.

The chain opened five stores, including two relocations, in the fourth quarter and has opened five stores so far in the first quarter. It expects to open one additional store in the first quarter. IT currently has 316 stores totaling approximately 12 million sq. ft.

Whole Foods said it recently signed nine new leases averaging 32,100 square feet in size in Phoenix; Tucson, Ariz.; Davis, Calf.; Littleton, Col.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Tulsa, Oak.; Addison, Texas; Katy, Texas; and London, England. These stores are scheduled to open in fiscal year 2012 and beyond.

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