ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Rebounding customer spending helped lift Ingles Markets to a 3.8% net sales increase and a 28.3% increase in net income during the fiscal first quarter, the retailer here said Monday.
Comparable-store sales excluding gasoline improved by 2.9%, sparking a 4.4% increase in gross profit and margins improving by 20 basis points to 22.2% of sales, officials said. Total sales for the period, which ended Dec. 25, were $872.8 million.
“We had a very good increase in sales for the quarter. People changed a little bit to buy some higher-price products — that hasn’t always been the case over the last couple of years,” Ron Freeman, Ingles’ chief financial officer, said during a conference call. “People’s confidence is ticking up a little.”