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Ingles sales up, earnings dip in 4Q

Ingles Markets on Friday reported sales in its fiscal fourth quarter increased by 1% but profits fell by 12.3% due in part to a loss on disposal of assets vs. a gain in the same period last year.

Same-store sales, excluding gasoline, increased by 1.6% in the quarter, which ended Sept. 24, the Asheville, N.C. retailer said. Total sales for the quarter and fiscal year were impacted by lower gasoline prices than the respective year-ago periods, Ingles added.

“During 2016 we worked very hard to improve our stores, resulting in positive customer response,” Robert P. Ingle II, CEO, said in a release.

Ingles reported net earnings of $14.2 million on sales of $962.4 million in the quarter. Earnings were impacted by a $0.3 million loss on asset disposals vs. gains of $1.9 million on asset sales during the fourth quarter last year. Gross profit as a percentage of sales was 24.7% and 23.9% for the 2016 and 2015 fourth quarters, respectively.

For the fiscal year, Ingles reported sales of $3.8 billion, a 0.3% increase, and net earnings of $54.2 million, an 8.7% decrease. Non-gasoline same-store sales improved by 2% for the fiscal year.

Capital expenditures totaled $137.6 million for fiscal 2016, up from $104.1 million a year ago. During fiscal 2016, Ingles opened two new stores and closed one store that is being rebuilt and will reopen in the future. Other store improvement capital projects in fiscal 2016 focused on improved merchandising, convenience and product range.

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