Ingles Markets said sales in its fiscal third quarter increased by 5.1%, sparked by a 1.8% increase in nonfuel comparable store sales and the effect of a shift of Easter holiday sales to the second quarter.
The 200-store retailer, based in Asheville, N.C., credited a “concentration on increasing sales” for the strong results, which included increases in all of its store categories and a benefit of modest food price inflation. A 23.4% increase in per-gallon prices for gas as well as increase of 3.6% in gallons sold helped the revenue line, while increases in the number of transactions and average transaction size drove the adjusted comp figure.
Gross profit for the quarter, which ended June 30, increased 2.8% to $243.9 million. As a percentage of sales, gross profit was 23.6%, down from 24.1% in last year’s third quarter, but when excluding gasoline, margin as a percent of sales increased by 34 basis points.
Net income totaled $24.5 million, a 113% increase from last year’s third quarter. Net income was positively impacted by $10.6 million related to the Tax Act, resulting in an income tax benefit of $6 million for the quarter.
“This past quarter’s concentration on increasing sales showed positive results,” Robert Ingle II, Ingles’ chairman, said in a statement. “Our associates have worked very hard to improve the product and service offering in our stores.”