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    Sales, Comps Up for Sprouts in Q3, Year

    CEO reports 'another quarter of strong top-line growth'

    Sprouts Farmers Market posted net sales for Q3 of 2014 of $766.4 million, a 21 percent increase over the same period last year. The grocer attributed its strong sales performance to the 9 percent increase in comparable-store sales and the success of the 14 new stores opened in the quarter.

    Gross profit for Q3 was up 19 percent to $226 million, which realized a margin of 29.5 percent of sales, compared to the year-ago period.

    Net income for the quarter was $26.1 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.17, up $14.6 million from the same period in 2013. The company attributed the increase to higher sales and operating leverage offset by expenses and lower operating margin from the quarter's new stores.

    "In a competitive environment, Sprouts is pleased to report another quarter of strong top-line growth with solid financial results," said Doug Sanders, president and CEO of Phoenix-based Sprouts.

    "Our combination of healthy products at affordable prices, unparalleled customer service, and strong operational execution continues to separate Sprouts from the competition by meeting the needs of today's growing number of health-conscious consumers," Sanders added.

    For the 39-week period ended Sept. 28, Sprouts posted $2.2 billion in net sales, or a 22 percent increase compared to the year-ago period. The grocer also saw a 10.4 percent increase in comparable-store sales year-to-date. Net income was $89.9 million for the year, up $47.9 million from the same period in 2013.

    Sprouts Farmers Market operates 191 stores in 10 states, employing more than 17,000 associates.

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