A slight increase in store traffic and a big increase in average ticket helped Ingles Markets improve sales by 2.7% and nonfuel adjusted comps by 4.3% during its fiscal third quarter.
The Asheville, N.C.-based retailer also recognized better margins and held the line on costs, sparking a 72.3% increase in net income during the period ending June 30. Ingles also recorded net earnings of $23.5 million on sales of $1.1 billion, attributable in part to increases in each retail product category except gasoline, where both the number of gallons sold and the average sale price decreased.
The regional retailer also benefited from Easter sales being in the third quarter this year vs. the second quarter a year ago. The 4.3% comp figure was adjusted for the Easter effect and did not include gasoline.
“Our strong sales growth continues to drive operating results and provide capital for the ongoing improvement of our store base,” Ingles Chairman Robert P. Ingle II said in a statement
Gross profit for the three-month period increased by $15 million, or 6.2%, to $258.9 million, or 24.4% of sales, compared with $243.9 million, or 23.6% of sales, for last year’s third quarter.
For the nine-month fiscal year to date, Ingles’ net sales totaled $3.1 billion, and net income totaled $60.7 million, compared with $3 billion and $78.9 million, respectively, for the nine months ending June 30, 2o18. Capital expenditures for the entire fiscal year are expected to be about $140 million to $180 million.
Ingles operates 199 stores in six Southeastern states.