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    The Fresh Market Posts Higher Q2 Sales; Comps Down

    Specialty grocer launches stock repurchase program

    The Fresh Market reported net sales of $442.1 million for its second quarter ended July 26, a 4.7 percent increase from the year-ago period, while comparable-store sales dipped 1 percent to $392.7 million. The company attributed the comps decline to a 0.7 percent decrease in the number of transactions and a 0.3 percent decrease in average transaction size.

    The grocer's gross profit for Q2 grew 3.7 percent, or $5.3 million, to $149 million, compared with last year. Meanwhile, net income was $17.5 million, up from $11.4 million in the year-ago. Adjusted EBITDA was $46.4 million, versus $46.2 million last year, an increase of 0.5 percent.

    "Our second-quarter results reflect changes in our pricing and promotional investments, which were less effective than anticipated in a more challenging macro environment," acknowledged Sean Crane, interim CEO of the Greensboro, N.C.-based specialty grocer. "However, the financial health of the business remains sound as we continue to deliver some of the strongest adjusted EBITDA margins and returns on invested capital in the industry. We are committed to increasing our profitability as we work to stabilize and improve our future comparable store sales. As we move forward, we remain focused on our initiatives to build The Fresh Market brand, elevate our in-store experience and food offering, and capture greater operational efficiencies."

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