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    Ingles Posts Higher Q3, 9-month Sales

    Customer transactions, average transaction size and gas sold all up

    Ingles Markets Inc. has reported increased sales for the three- and nine-month periods ended June 29, versus the respective year-ago periods. Third-quarter 2013 net sales grew to $931.9 million, from $917.8 million last year. For the first nine months of fiscal 2013, net sales rose 2.4 percent to $2.78 billion.

    Because of prepayment penalties and other costs associated with a repaid debt on senior notes, the net loss for Ingles’ third quarter of fiscal 2013 came to $14.4 million, compared with $13.1 million in the year-ago period. For the nine months ended June 2013 and June 2012, net income came to $5.2 million and $30.2 million, respectively. A lower interest rate on new senior notes is expected to provide the grocer substantial interest savings going forward.

    “We continued to grow sales and improve our store base during this most recent quarter,” noted Ingles CEO Robert P. Ingle II. “The refinancing we accomplished in June secured favorable financing for the company for many years to come.”

    Excluding gasoline and the effect of Easter sales in last year’s June quarter, the company’s grocery segment comparable-store sales rose 1.4 percent. The number of customer transactions, average transaction size and gasoline gallons sold all were higher for the June 2013 quarter compared with the year-ago period.

    Gross profit for the June 2013 quarter went up 2.1 percent to $210.3 million, a $4.4 million increase from the third quarter of last fiscal year. Gross profit, as a percentage of sales, rose to 22.6 percent for the June 2013 quarter, versus 22.4 percent last year. Ingles attributed the improvement in gross profit and margin to higher sales, a better product mix, and enhanced operating efficiencies as a result of a distribution facility opened in June 2012. Excluding gasoline sales, grocery-segment gross profit as a percentage of sales increased 49 basis points for the three months ended June 29, compared with the year-ago period.

    For the nine months ended June 2013, net sales increased 2.4 percent to $2.78 billion, compared with the same period in the prior fiscal year. Excluding gasoline, grocery-comps edged up 1.9 percent. The number of customer transactions, average transaction size and gasoline gallons sold all were higher for the June 2013 nine-month period versus last year.

    Gross profit dollars for the June 2013 nine-month period rose $16.4 million, or 2.7 percent, to $616.5 million, from $600.1 million for year-ago period. Gross profit as a percentage of sales was 22.2 percent and 22.1 percent, respectively, for the nine months ended June 29, 2013, and June 23, 2012. Excluding gasoline sales, grocery-segment gross profit as a percentage of sales increased 19 basis points for the first nine months of fiscal 2013, compared with last year.

    Net income came to $5.2 million for the nine-month period ended June 29, compared with $30.2 million, or 1.1 percent of sales, last year. Excluding fiscal 2013’s $43.1 million of debt extinguishment costs, income before income taxes grew to $48.9 million, compared with $46.8 million last year.

    Ingles’ capital expenditures totaled $76.8 million for the nine-month period ended June 29. Most of these projects were smaller-scale remodels in a number of stores and a ground-up store that opened in April 2013. Cap ex is expected to be about $100 million to $130 million for the full fiscal year.

    Asheville, N.C.-based Ingles operates 204 supermarkets. Together with its supermarket operations, the company operates neighborhood shopping centers, most of which contain an Ingles supermarket. It also owns a fluid dairy facility that supplies Ingles supermarkets as well as unaffiliated customers.
     

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