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Ingles boosts sales, earnings in Q1

Increased traffic supports 1.8% non-fuel comps

Heavier foot traffic helped Ingles Markets post increases in sales and earnings during its fiscal first quarter, the retailer said in financial filings Wednesday.

For the period, which ended Dec. 24, Ingles said net sales increased by 3.3% to $982.8 million, and comparable store sales excluding gasoline increased by 1.8%. Ingles said customer transactions increased by 2.2% as compared to the same period last year, while the average ring increased by 0.4%. Gasoline sales in dollars improved by 6.9% due to higher per-gallon prices and a 2% increase in gallons sold.

Net income for the quarter totaled $13.8 million, a 1.4% gain from last year’s first quarter. Gross margin increased to 24.1% of sales vs. 23.7% in the prior period, but gains were offset by higher operating expenses, the company said.

Asheville, N.C.-based Ingles operated 202 stores at the end of the period, having opened two new stores and closed one for relocation since last year’s first quarter.

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