Natural foods chain Natural Grocers reported big sales gains for the fourth quarter and for Fiscal 2017 as a whole.

Net sales at Lakewood, Colorado-based Natural Grocers rose 9.7 percent in the fourth quarter, to $198.5 million. For the year, sales were $769 million, an increase of 9 percent over the year before.

The company, which operates more than 90 stores, also reported comparable store sales gains of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter and .1 percent for the year. Net income for the quarter was $1.2 million with diluted earnings per share of $.06; for the year it was $6.9 million with earnings per share of $.31.

Natural Grocers opened 14 new stores in 2017, nine fewer than in 2016. In 2018, the company expects to open eight to 10 new stores.

Natural Grocers projects diluted earnings per share of $.21 to .31 in 2018.