PROVIDENCE, R.I. — United Natural Foods Inc. here said its first-quarter sales grew in double digits, despite a recent tepid report from its No. 1 customer, Whole Foods Market.


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“Maybe there's a little bit more volatility, up one week, down the next; but when you look at it over the course of a month or a quarter, we're not seeing any slowdown or change,” said Steven Spinner, president and chief executive officer, UNFI.

Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 increased 28.9%, to $27.8 million, compared with a year ago. Sales for the first quarter increased 13.6% to $1.6 billion.

Gross margin was 16.9% for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, a 20 basis point increase over the first quarter of 2013. Compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, gross margin decreased 39 basis points primarily due to the continued shift in customer mix to the conventional supermarket and supernatural channels, UNFI said.

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