20.11.02

20.11.2002: Meldung: Whole Foods Market Results

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Nasdaq: WFMI - News) today reported sales and earnings for the 12-week quarter and 52-week fiscal year ended September 29, 2002. All
percentage increases for the quarter and the year have been adjusted for the 13-week fourth quarter in the prior year. Sales for the quarter increased 20% to $638 million from $577 million in the prior year. The increase was driven by weighted average year-over-year square footage growth of 16% and stronger than expected comparable store sales growth of 10.5%. Identical store sales (excluding three
relocated stores) increased 9.6% for the quarter. Sales for the fiscal year increased 21% to $2.7 billion from $2.3 billion in the prior year. Comparable store sales increased 10.0% and identical store sales increased 8.7% for the fiscal year.

Net income for the quarter increased 38% to $22.0 million from $17.2 million in the prior year, and diluted earnings per share increased 30% to $0.36 compared to $0.30 in the prior year. Net income for thefiscal year increased 33% to $84.5 million from $64.8 million in the prior year, and diluted earnings per share increased 24% to $1.40 compared to $1.15 per share in the prior year. Prior year income and
diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter and fiscal yearended September 30, 2001 exclude $0.5 million and $1.9 million (net of income taxes) of goodwill amortization, $5.7 million (net of income
taxes) of store closure costs, $5.5 million and $5.6 million of equity
in losses of unconsolidated affiliate, and $3.9 million and $16.2
million of gain on discontinued operations, respectively.

"In the face of the weakest economy the United States has seen in over
ten years, we produced solid top and bottom line results," said John
Mackey, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Whole Foods
Market. "We delivered our twelfth consecutive quarter of 20% or more
sales growth and our seventh consecutive quarter of comparable store
sales increases over 9%. We earned $1.40 in earnings per share, a 24%
increase over the prior year and at the top end of our upwardly
revised guidance."

Net operating profit after tax (NOPAT) increased 26% to $23.2 million,
and total capital increased 17% to $1.1 billion for the quarter. The
Company"s capital charge for the quarter was $24.3 million, resulting
in Economic Value Added (EVA) of negative $1.1 million, a $3.4 million
improvement over the prior year. EVA improved $9.5 million to negative
$11.0 million for the fiscal year. All calculations reflect a 40% tax
rate and 10% weighted average cost of capital in both years.

Note: All percentage increases for the quarter and the year have been
adjusted for the 13-week fourth quarter in the prior year.

Comparable store sales and annualized returns for the fourth quarter:
Average Average NOPAT # of
Size Comps ROIC Stores

Stores over five years old 24,900 6.7% 62% 74
Stores between two and five
years old 34,600 12.0% 24% 35
Stores less than two years old
(including relocations) 35,000 33.1% 9% 14

All stores in comparable
store base 28,800 10.5% 33% 123

All stores 30,400 28% 135




Store contribution for the quarter increased 19% to $61.4 million from
$55.7 million in the prior year. As a percentage of sales, store
contribution was down five basis points over the prior year. Gross
profit for the quarter increased 21% to $224.3 million from $201.0
million in the prior year. Gross profit margin increased 29 basis
points over the prior year to 35.1% of sales due to a $3.4 million or
53 basis point LIFO inventory adjustment in the quarter. Excluding the
LIFO inventory adjustment, gross profit margin would have decreased 24
basis points due to the negative impact from the Harry"s Farmers
Market stores.

Direct store expenses for the quarter increased 21% to $162.9 million
from $145.3 million in the prior year. As a percentage of sales,
direct store expenses increased 34 basis points. A 37 basis point
reduction in wages was more than offset by a $3 million or 47 basis
point expense that was recorded during the quarter to increase the
accrued liability related to the Company"s self- funded health
insurance plan.

For stores in the comparable store base, store contribution increased
64 basis points to 10.5% of sales, gross profit improved 67 basis
points to 35.8% of sales, and direct store expenses increased three
basis points to 25.4% of sales.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses, excluding goodwill
amortization expense, increased 14% to $21.8 million from $20.7
million in the prior year. As a percentage of sales, G&A decreased 18
basis points from the prior year. Depreciation and amortization
totaled $20.2 million in the quarter, and EBITDA increased 24% to
$58.2 million or 9.1% of sales.

Capital expenditures for the fiscal year were $161 million, excluding
cash acquisitions, of which $100 million was for new store
development. At the end of the fiscal year, the Company had
approximately $168 million in long-term debt and a total debt-to-
equity ratio of .28-to-1 compared to .63-to-1 in the prior year. The
Company paid down $96 million in total debt during the fiscal year and
currently has approximately $214 million available on its $220 million
line of credit.

The Company opened two new stores in the fourth quarter and ended the
fiscal year with 135 stores. The Company has signed leases for new
stores in Colorado Springs and San Francisco as well as two sites in
New York City in the areas of Union Square and Columbus Circle. The
Company currently has 19 stores in development which average 41,000
square feet in size. Square footage under development totals
approximately 855,000 square feet, including 84,000 square feet
related to expansions of existing stores scheduled for fiscal year
2003.

Note: All percentage increases for the quarter and the year have been
adjusted for the 13-week fourth quarter in the prior year.

Goals for fiscal year 2003:

For fiscal year 2003, the Company is maintaining its previously stated
sales growth guidance of 15% to 20%. Comparable stores sales are
expected to increase 8.0% to 9.5% in the first quarter and 6.5% to
8.5% for the remainder of the year. Comparable stores sales for the
first quarter are currently running above 9.5%; however, the three
Harry"s Farmers Market stores entered the comparable store base in
November, and the Company expects those stores to negatively impact
comps by 50 to 100 basis points for the quarter and fiscal year. In
addition, continued uncertainty in the economy makes it difficult to
predict future sales trends.

The Company expects weighted average square footage growth of 12% to
14% for the year, including expansions of existing stores. In the
current quarter, the Company has opened four stores and expects to
open two additional stores. The Company expects to open six to nine
new stores in the remainder of the year, one of which will be a
relocation of an existing store. In addition, the Company expects an
increase of approximately 84,000 square feet related to expansions of
existing stores scheduled for fiscal year 2003.

The Company expects gross profit to be flat to slightly higher as a
percentage of sales. While the Company believes further opportunities
exist to leverage its cost of goods sold, the Company wishes to
maintain pricing flexibility in the event of further weakening of the
economy. The Company is focused on producing operating margin
improvement primarily through the leveraging of direct store expenses
and general and administrative expenses, both of which are expected to
decrease incrementally as a percentage of sales. Pre-opening and
relocation expense is expected to be in the range of $8 million to $10
million and more heavily weighted in the first half of the year.

Absent any significant cash acquisitions or change in status of the
Company"s outstanding zero coupon convertible bond issue which has a
put date of March 2, 2003, the Company does not expect any borrowings
for the year. The Company expects net interest expense to be in the
range of $6 million to $8 million. Capital expenditures are expected
to be in the range of $180 million to $200 million for the year.

The Company is upwardly revising its diluted earnings per share
guidance for the fiscal year to $1.62 to $1.69 from $1.60 to $1.67 and
expects to produce EVA improvement of between $7 million to $10
million for the fiscal year.

About Whole Foods Market:

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market®
(www.wholefoodsmarket.com ) is the largest natural and organic foods
supermarket retailer. In fiscal year 2002, the company had sales of
$2.7 billion and currently has 139 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The
Whole Foods Market motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole
Planet"(TM) captures the company"s mission to find success in customer
satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced
shareholder value, community support, and environmental improvement.
Whole Foods Market, Bread & Circus®, and Harry"s Farmer"s Market® are
all registered trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market. The company
employs more than 23,000 team members and has been ranked for five
consecutive years as one of the "Top 100 Companies to Work for" in
America by Fortune magazine.

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, including but 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
30, 2001. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update
forward-looking statements.

Contact: Cindy McCann
VP of Investor Relations
512.477.4455


Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(in thousands, except per share amounts)

Twelve/Thirteen Fifty-two/Fifty-three
weeks ended weeks ended
Sept. 29, Sept. 30, Sept. 29, Sept. 30,
2002 2001 2002 2001

Sales $ 638,124 576,552 2,690,475
2,272,231
Cost of goods sold
and occupancy costs 413,828 375,554 1,757,213
1,482,477
Gross profit 224,296 200,998 933,262 789,754
Direct store expenses 162,906 145,256 675,760
574,503
Store contribution 61,390 55,742 257,502 215,251
General and administrative
expenses 21,791 20,701 95,871
82,440
Goodwill amortization --- 884 ---
3,129
Pre-opening and relocation
costs 1,591 2,939 12,485
8,539
Store closure costs --- 9,425 ---
9,425
Operating income from
continuing operations 38,008 21,793 149,146 111,718
Interest expense, net (1,270) (3,353) (8,328)
(16,263)
Income from continuing
operations before
income taxes 36,738 18,440 140,818 95,455
Provision for income taxes 14,695 7,376 56,327
38,182
Equity in losses
of unconsolidated affiliate,
net of income taxes --- 5,500 ---
5,626
Income from continuing
operations 22,043 5,564 84,491 51,647
Discontinued operations,
net of income taxes --- 3,929 ---
16,233

Net income $ 22,043 9,493 84,491 67,880

Basic earnings per share:
Income from continuing
operations $ 0.38 0.10 1.50 0.96
Discontinued operations,
net of income taxes --- 0.07 --- 0.30
Basic earnings per share $ 0.38 0.17 1.50 1.26
Weighted average shares
outstanding 57,602 54,411 56,385 53,664

Diluted earnings per share:
Income from continuing
operations $ 0.36 0.10 1.40 0.92
Discontinued operations,
net of income taxes --- 0.07 --- 0.29
Diluted earnings
per share $ 0.36 0.17 1.40 1.21
Weighted average shares
outstanding, diluted basis 64,099 57,512 63,340 56,185

The following table reflects a reconciliation of GAAP net income above
to
a non-GAAP measure for prior year periods that excludes the effect of
goodwill amortization, store closure costs, equity in losses of
unconsolidated affiliate and discontinued operations for comparative
purposes:

GAAP net income per above $ 22,043 9,493 84,491
67,880
Goodwill amortization --- 884 --- 3,129
Store closure costs --- 9,425 --- 9,425
Provision for income
taxes (related to goodwill
and store closure costs) --- (4,124) --- (5,022)
Equity in losses of
unconsolidated affiliate,
net of income taxes --- 5,500 --- 5,626
Discontinued operations,
net of income taxes --- (3,929) --- (16,233)
Adjusted net income* $ 22,043 17,249 84,491
64,805

Adjusted diluted
earnings per share* $ 0.36 0.30 1.40
1.15

* Non-GAAP for the thirteen and fifty-three week periods ended
September 30, 2001

Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Earnings per share reconciliation

A reconciliation of the numerators and denominators of the basic and
diluted earnings per share calculations follows (in thousands):

Twelve/Thirteen Fifty-two/Fifty-three
weeks ended weeks ended
Sept. 29, Sept. 30, Sept. 29, Sept. 30,
2002 2001 2002 2001
Net income (numerator
for basic earnings per share) $ 22,043 9,493 84,491
67,880
Interest on 5% zero coupon
convertible subordinated
debentures, net of income taxes 1,003 --- 4,272
---
Adjusted net income (numerator
for diluted earnings per share) $ 23,046 9,493 88,763
67,880

Weighted average common shares
outstanding (denominator
for basic earnings per share) 57,602 54,411 56,385
53,664
Potential common shares outstanding:
Assumed conversion of 5% zero coupon
convertible subordinated debentures 3,286 --- 3,286
---
Assumed exercise of stock options 3,211 3,101 3,669
2,521
Weighted average common shares
outstanding and potential additional
common shares outstanding (denominator
for diluted earnings per share) 64,099 57,512 63,340
56,185


Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands)
September 29, 2002 and September 30, 2001

Assets
2002 2001

Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $12,646
1,843
Trade accounts receivable 30,888
24,859
Merchandise inventories 108,189
98,616
Prepaid expenses and other current
assets 8,950
9,151
Deferred income taxes 11,468
8,549
Total current assets 172,141
143,018

Property and equipment, net of
accumulated depreciation and
amortization 644,688
542,986
Long-term investments 4,426
4,706
Goodwill 80,548
67,258
Intangible assets, net of accumulated
amortization 22,889
24,028
Other assets 8,159
8,513
Deferred income taxes 7,350
20,287
Net assets of discontinued operations 3,000
18,375
$943,201 829,171

Liabilities And Shareholders" Equity
2002 2001
Current liabilities:
Current installments of long-term debt
and capital lease obligations $5,789
5,944
Trade accounts payable 59,710
50,468
Accrued payroll, bonus and employee
benefits 59,359
41,265
Other accrued expenses 51,440
56,237
Total current liabilities 176,298
153,914
Long-term debt and capital lease
obligations, less current installments 161,952
250,705
Deferred rent liability 12,091
11,653
Other long-term liabilities 3,774
3,542
Total liabilities 354,115
419,814

Shareholders" equity:
Common stock, no par value, 150,000 and
100,000 shares authorized; 57,988 and
55,114 shares issued; 57,739 and
54,770 shares outstanding 341,940
251,679
Common stock in treasury, at cost ---
(5,369)
Accumulated other comprehensive income (422)
(30)
Retained earnings 247,568
163,077
Total shareholders" equity 589,086
409,357
Commitments and contingencies
$943,201 829,171

We have reclassified prior year amounts to conform to current year
presentation.


Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(In thousands)
Fiscal Years Ended September 29, 2002 and September 30, 2001

2002 2001

Cash flows from operating activities
Income from continuing operations $84,491
51,647
Adjustments to reconcile income from
continuing operations
to net cash flows provided by
operating activities
Depreciation and amortization 85,869 78,823
Loss on disposal of fixed assets 3,138 1,917
Store closure and asset disposal costs --- 9,425
Deferred income tax expense (benefit) 10,018 (834)
Change in LIFO reserve (889) 3,554
Rent differential 437 852
Tax benefit related to exercise
of employee stock options 23,890 9,211
Interest accretion on long-term debt 7,048 6,828
Equity in losses of
unconsolidated affiliate --- 5,626
Lease termination and other
merger accrual payments (502) (596)
Issuance of Company stock to 401 (k) plan 4,475 ---
Net change in current assets and
liabilities:
Trade accounts receivable (6,015) (2,203)
Merchandise inventories (3,096) (8,312)
Prepaid expenses and other
current assets 194 (2,810)
Trade accounts payable 5,859 483
Accrued payroll, bonus and
employee benefits 17,609 3,731
Other accrued expenses (3,381) 15,694
Net cash provided by operating activities 229,145 173,036

Cash flows from investing activities
Development costs of new store locations (100,000)
(103,896)
Other property, plant and equipment
expenditures (61,385)
(49,009)
Acquisition of intangible assets (1,241)
(4,023)
Payment for purchase of acquired
entities, net of cash acquired (35,978)
---
Other investing activities (4,753)
---
Net cash used in investing activities (203,357)
(156,928)

Cash flows from financing activities
Net proceeds from long-term borrowings 32,000
25,000
Payments on long-term debt and
capital lease obligations (127,956)
(78,383)
Issuance of common stock 66,964
23,179
Net cash used in financing activities (28,992)
(30,204)

Cash flows from discontinued operations
Net cash provided by discontinued operations 14,007 15,544
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 10,803
1,448
Cash and cash equivalents at
beginning of year 1,843
395

Cash and cash equivalents at end of year $12,646
1,843

Supplemental disclosure of cash flow
information
Interest and income taxes paid:
Interest $5,224 11,108
Federal and state income taxes $26,030 29,021

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Contact:
Whole Foods Market, Inc.
601 N. Lamar Suite 300
Austin, Texas 78703
Corporate office phone: (512) 477-4455
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