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Strong Holiday Sales Lift Ingles in Q1

Traffic, ticket, margins all climb
Ingles storefront
Photograph courtesy of Ingles

Ingles Markets generated gains in store traffic, average ticket and margins in its fiscal first quarter, indicating a successful holiday selling season.

The Asheville, N.C.-based operator of 200 stores in six Southeast states reported total sales of $1.1 billion, a 4.7% increase, in the period ending Dec. 29. Comparable store sales, excluding gasoline, improved by 3.9%, reflecting increases both in store traffic and average transaction size. Gross profits in the period totaled 24.3% of sales, up from 24.1% in last year’s first quarter.

Pretax income totaled $28.1 million, or 10.9% higher than last year. Net earnings of $22.2 million for the quarter were down from last year, primarily due to a noncash reduction in deferred tax expense associated with federal tax law that went into effect last year.

Capital expenditures totaled $71 million in the quarter, which included the acquisition of a shopping center where Ingles was leasing its store space. The company is anticipating total capital expenditures for the fiscal year to be between $140 million and $180 million.

“We had a successful first quarter and holiday season due to the dedication and hard work from all our associates,” Robert P. Ingle II, chairman of Ingles, said in a statement. “We also made significant investments in our company that will benefit many future periods.”

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