Ingles Markets reports third-quarter sales gain

Ingles Markets reports third-quarter sales gain

Federal tax cut gives boost to net earnings

Growth in customer volume and basket size helped lift sales at Ingles Markets for the fiscal 2018 third quarter.

For the quarter ended June 30, revenue rose 5.1% to $1.03 billion from $984.4 million a year earlier, as sales grew in every retail product category, Ingles said late Thursday. The Asheville, N.C.-based regional grocer noted that the 2017 third quarter benefited from extra Easter sales whereas this year the holiday sales bump came in the second quarter.

Excluding fuel sales and the effect of the Easter holiday calendar shift, retail grocery same-store sales edged up 1.8% year over year in the 2018 third quarter. Customer transactions grew 0.6%, with the average transaction size up 1.8%.  

“This past quarter’s concentration on increasing sales showed positive results,” Chairman Robert P. Ingle II said in a statement. “Our associates have worked very hard to improve the product and service offering in our stores.”

On the earnings side, net income climbed to $24.5 million in the third quarter from $11.5 million a year ago. The company attributed much of the gain to a $10.6 million positive impact from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which resulted in an income tax benefit of $6 million for the quarter.

Basic earnings per Class A share rose to $1.24 ($1.21 diluted) from 58 cents (57 cents diluted) in the prior-year period, Ingles said. Basic and diluted earnings per Class B share came in at $1.13 for the 2018 quarter versus 53 cents a year earlier.

As of June 30, Ingles Markets operated 200 stores in North Carolina (72), Georgia (69), South Carolina (36), Tennessee (21), Virginia (one) and Alabama (one).

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