INGLES CONTINUES GROWTH AND STORE MODERNIZATION

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Ingles Markets here said last week it plans to continue the company's growth and store modernization program next year by opening four new stores and eight replacement stores, as well as remodeling another 16 units.ttle a class action lawsuit alleging gender discrimination. Comparable store sales for the quarter rose 4.9%.For the year, sales increased 9.6% to $1.8 billion, and comparable

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Ingles Markets here said last week it plans to continue the company's growth and store modernization program next year by opening four new stores and eight replacement stores, as well as remodeling another 16 units.

ttle a class action lawsuit alleging gender discrimination. Comparable store sales for the quarter rose 4.9%.

For the year, sales increased 9.6% to $1.8 billion, and comparable store sales grew 7.1%, the largest increase in comp store sales in five years. Net income rose to $18.7 million, an 41.4% increase, not including the effects of the class action lawsuit settlement.

Robert P. Ingle, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We are extremely pleased with our fiscal 1999 results. It has been a year highlighted by impressive comparable store sales growth and improving margins. Our focus during fiscal 1999 on marketing, community involvement and improving customer service and store conditions has produced positive results.

"In light of the company's performance in fiscal 1999, we are very much looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of the next millennium."