Strong sales fuel Whole Foods' quarterly earnings Whole Foods reported a jump in quarterly earnings this week, as robust demand for organic foods fueled net income.

The Austin, Texas-based company said Wednesday sales in its second fiscal quarter rose 14 percent from the same period the year prior. The company logged $2.7 billion in sales, with comparable store sales, an indicator of overall company health, increasing 9.5 percent. Identical store sales registered 9 percent growth.

Whole Foods said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) – an accounting standard – soared 24 percent from 2011, hitting $259.2 million. Net income in its most recent fiscal quarter surged 31 percent to $117.7 million, underscoring the strength of its procurement and business cost reduction initiatives, among other campaigns.

Whole Foods chief executive and co-founder John Mackey said the company's earnings growth illustrated how robust demand for organic produce and other food items is benefiting the company.

"We are pleased to report another outstanding quarter, producing the best results in our company's 32 year history," Mackey said in a statement. "Our consistent execution and strong capital disciplines have been delivering record returns to our shareholders."

Bloomberg reports the purveyor of organic and high-quality food items has aggressively courted growth by expanding in urban centers across the U.S. Meredith Adler, an analyst at Barclays, told the news provider the grocery chain's prospects remain bright, even amid tepid gains in consumer spending.

"Sales trends remain strong as it appears that the growth of the natural and organic industry has accelerated," Adler noted.

Whole Foods opened three stores in its second quarter. The company has already opened an additional four stores in its current fiscal period, and company executives affirmed the business  is set to unveil five more new outlets. In total, Whole Foods operates 324 grocery stores, accounting for 12.3 million square feet of retail space.

The supermarket chain had suffered in the wake of the worst financial contraction since the Great Depression, but the company has successfully courted growth among urban dwellers in major metropolitan areas across the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.

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