ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Ingles Markets  here on Monday said sales and net earnings improved in the second quarter, helped along by a property sale and by the timing of the Easter holiday.
For the quarter that ended March 30, Ingles earned $8.1 million on $918.6 million in sales. Earnings climbed by 24.6% while sales were up by 4.2%. Comparable-store sales, excluding gasoline and the effect of the Easter holiday, which fell in the second quarter this year and in the third quarter a year ago, increased by 2.7% behind a growth in transactions and average basket. Gross profit as a percentage of sales dipped 21.6% from 21.8% in last year’s second quarter.
The company said it sold a vacant store property in Georgia during the quarter for $7.5 million, reflecting a pre-tax gain of $3.9 million.
Read more: Ingles Q1 Earnings Up Despite Competition 
In a conference call discussing results, Ron Freeman, Ingles’ chief financial officer, said he was particularly pleased with sales gains in perishable departments.
For the six-month period, sales were up 2.8% to $1.85 billion, and comparable-store sales rose 2.4%. Net income of $19.7 million was up 15.2%.
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