Profit rises on strong same-store sales at GNC

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Pittsburgh health supplements retailer GNC Holdings Inc. raised its outlook for full-fiscal-year results, driven in part by strong sales gains at established stores.

The Downtown company this morning reported profit of $62.2 million, or 60 cents per share, in the third quarter, up from $48.7 million, or 45 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.

Excluding certain one-time expenses, profit would have been $63.2 million, or 61 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had been looking for 58 cents per share.

Total revenue of $621.6 million in the quarter was up 15.5 percent over last year's $538 million, the company said.

Sales at U.S. corporate stores open at least a year rose 9.8 percent, while same-store sales at domestic franchise locations were up 14.3 percent.

GNC now expects revenue to grow 18 percent for the year, up from its earlier projections of 17.5 percent. Adjusted earnings per share for the year are targeted at $2.29 vs. a projection issued in July for $2.21.

The company's shares were trading at $36.49 at mid-morning, down more than 5 percent.

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