19.4.2004: Meldung: Moody"s Investor Services raised Whole Foods Markets Ratings

AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market, Inc. today announced that Moody""s Investors Service raised all ratings on the Company as follows:

-- Zero-coupon convertible subordinated debentures (2018) to Ba2 from B1, -- Senior implied rating to Baa3 (investment grade) from Ba2, and -- Unsecured issuer rating to Ba1 from Ba3.

"Throughout our rapid growth, we have remained a uniquely mission-driven company," said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market CEO, President, Chairman and Co-founder. "This investment grade rating from Moody""s is validation of our philosophy that every business should have a mission that includes but goes beyond maximizing profits and shareholder value. Our team members, customers, shareholders, vendors, community and environment must flourish together through their affiliation with us or we are not succeeding as a business."

The agency stated that the ratings upgrade was prompted by the Company""s recent pattern of internally funding its ambitious store development program, the strong sales performance at new and existing stores, and the continued improvement in the Company""s fixed charge coverage. Moody""s further stated that its new ratings recognize the Company""s supermarket industry-leading performance, including a 6% operating margin, sales per square foot of over $700, and near double-digit comparable store sales increases across all age classes of stores.

For the full credit ratings report, please visit http://www.moodys.com/ . About Whole Foods Market:

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market(R) (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ ) is the largest natural and organic foods retailer. The Company had sales of $3.1 billion in fiscal year 2003 and currently has 156 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The following constitutes a "Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward looking statements. These risks include but are not limited to general business conditions, the timely development and opening of new stores, the integration of acquired stores, the impact of competition, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company""s SEC reports, including the report on Form 10K for the fiscal year ended September 28, 2003. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.

Contact: Cindy McCann, VP of Investor Relations


Whole Foods Market, Inc.
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