Competitive Pricing Helps Drive Ingles' 2Q Sales Gains

Ingles Markets said yesterday that sales and earnings increased for the second quarter and first half that ended March 31, while gross margins were slightly lower as the company sought to protect its market shares and keep prices low.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Ingles Markets said yesterday that sales and earnings increased for the second quarter and first half that ended March 31, while gross margins were slightly lower as the company sought to protect its market shares and keep prices low. Net income jumped 43.1% to $13.5 million for the quarter and 43.4% to $24.7 million for the half, while sales rose 12.3% to $681.2 million for the quarter and 11.1% to $1.4 billion for the half. Comparable-store sales, excluding gasoline, were up 8.9% in the quarter and 8.1% in the half. Gross margin as a percentage of sales fell 12 basis points to 24.5% in the quarter and three basis points to 26.6% in the half. In a conference call with analysts, Ronald B. Freeman, Ingles' chief financial officer and vice president, finance, said, “Consistent with our emphasis on sales growth and customer value, we chose to accept lower margins to protect market share and keep prices low for our customers.”