Whole Foods share price rises as premium grocer announces record sales and beats expectations for first quarter of 2016

Caitlin Morrison
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Whole Foods To Buy Wild Oats Markets For $565 Million
The grocery chain's boss said the company was trying to improve price perception (Source: Getty)

Whole Foods, the healthy US grocery chain with several outposts in London, posted record sales figures for the first quarter of 2016, up to $4.83bn (£3.3bn) from $4.67bn, beating analysts' expectations of $4.81bn.

Shares in the company rose by as much as six per cent in after hours trading.

Net income for the quarter fell to $157m from $167m, and sales at established stores declined by 1.8 per cent.

"We improved our cost structure (and) stepped up our value efforts," said Whole Foods boss Walter Robb.

"We believe we will deliver strong returns to shareholders over the long term as we improve our price perception, better communicate our higher quality standards and differentiation, and continue to fundamentally evolve our business."

Whole Foods, sometimes known as Whole Paycheck due to the pricey nature of its goods, unveiled plans for a $1bn share repurchase programme last November. The company said this move meant it ended the first quarter with $1.1bn in total debt and $1.4bn in available capital.

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