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    Ingles Posts Higher Q3 Sales, Income

    Easter holiday shift aided results

    Ingles Markets Inc. has reported higher sales and net income for the three and nine months ended June 28, 2014, as versus the year-ago periods ended June 29, 2013. Third-quarter net sales at the Asheville, N.C.-based company rose 4.7 percent to $978.3 million, a $44.2 million increase over last year, while nine-month sales edged up 2.9 percent to $2.87 billion, compared with $2.79 billion for the year-ago period. Net income came to $13.8 million for the quarter and $33.8 million for the nine months ended June 28.

    During the June 2013 quarter, Ingles incurred $43.1 million of pre-tax debt refinancing costs related to a comprehensive refinancing transaction. Including these costs, the grocer incurred a net loss of $14.4 million for the June 2013 quarter and earned net income of $5.2 million for the nine months ended June 29, 2013. Fiscal year 2014 income before taxes grew over the prior year even after adding back last year's debt costs.

    According to CEO Robert P. Ingle II, the increases were "made possible by our hard-working associates achieving our long-term goals."

    Q3 Results

    Comparable-store sales, excluding gasoline and including a positive impact of about 88 basis points due to Easter’s shift from the second quarter last year to the third quarter this year, went up 2.1 percent. The number of customer transactions, excluding gas, bumped up 0.3 percent, while the comparable average transaction size, excluding gas, rose 1.8 percent compared with last year.

    Gross profit for the June 2014 quarter was $215.2 million, 22 percent of sales. Excluding gasoline sales, grocery segment gross profit as a percentage of sales increased 20 basis points in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 compared with the same fiscal 2013 period.

    Operating and administrative expenses for the June 2014 quarter were $182.7 million, and operating expenses as a percentage of sales, excluding gas, were 22.4 percent for both the June 2014 and June 2013 quarters.

    YTD Results

    Net sales grew $81.5 million to $2.87 billion for the nine months ended June 28, 2014, versus $2.79 billion for the nine months ended June 29, 2013. Excluding gas, grocery-segment comps rose 0.9 percent for the nine-month period.

    Gross profit for the June 2014 nine-month period was $624.8 million, 21.8 percent of sales. Excluding gas, grocery-segment gross profit as a percentage of sales rose 20 basis points for the nine months of fiscal 2014, compared with the year-ago period.

    Operating and administrative expenses for the June 2014 nine-month period came to $538.6 million. Operating expenses as a percentage of sales, excluding gas, were 22.1 percent for both the June 2014 and June 2013 nine-month periods.

    Capital expenditures for the June 2014 nine-month period were $72.6 million, versus $76.8 million last year. Ingles expects cap ex for fiscal 2014 of about $100 million to $120 million.

    Operating 201 supermarkets in six southeastern states, Ingles also runs neighborhood shopping centers, most of which contain an Ingles supermarket, and a fluid dairy facility supplying its supermarkets and unaffiliated customers.

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