ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Ingles Markets here on Friday said profits rose in its fiscal third quarter as both basket size and customer counts increased.
The company said net income for the quarter, which ended June 25, totaled $12.7 million, up 11.2%, on a 6.4% increase in sales, to $911 million. Same-store sales, excluding gas, were up 2%, including a 0.2% gain in customer counts and a 2.1% increase in average transaction size.
"We are pleased with this quarter-over quarter increase in an economic and competitive environment that has significant challenges," said Ronald B. Freeman, vice president and chief financial officer, in a conference call with analysts.
He said he thinks the market in the chain's Southeast region has become more promotional, in response to an analyst's question.
The company said gross profit as a percent of sales was 22.1% for the recent quarter, compared with 23% for the year-ago quarter. Excluding gasoline sales, gross profit as a percentage of sales was about the same as a year ago.
Through three quarters Ingles said net income was up $24.3%, to $28.1 million, on a 4.7% increase in sales, to $2.65 billion. Same-store sales year-to-date rose 2.3%, excluding gas, reflecting a 0.5% increase in customer counts and a 2.1% increase in average transaction size.
Ingles operated 203 stores at the end of the most recent period, vs. 202 a year ago.