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    Ingles Posts 50th Year of Record Sales in FY 2014

    Grocer also sees Q4 sales, net income growth

    Ingles Markets Inc. reported record sales of $3.84 billion for fiscal 2014, its 50th straight year of sales growth. For the full year, net income grew to $51.4 million in 2014 versus $20.8 million in 2013, while net income for Q4 came to $17.6 million, a 13.1 percent increase from the $15.6 million posted in the year-ago period. Total sales edged up 1.7 percent in Q4 and 2.6 percent for the year compared with the comparable periods in 2013.

    "Fifty years of sales growth is quite an accomplishment for the company, and we are grateful for our loyal customer base," said Robert P. Ingle II, CEO of Asheville, N.C.-based Ingles. "We will continue to improve our customer experience through providing a great selection of products delivered with convenience and value."

    Q4 Results

    Net sales increased $964.8 million for the quarter ended Sept. 27, 2014, versus $948.9 million in the year-ago period. Comparable-store sales, excluding gasoline, grew 0.9 percent. Gallons and dollars of gas sold went up, while the average per gallon sales price was substantially the same for both fourth-quarter periods, the company noted.

    Ingles' gross profit for Q4 increased to $220.4 million, compared with $210.3 million last year. Gross profit as a percentage of sales came to 22.8 percent and 22.2 percent for the 2014 and 2013 fourth quarters, respectively. Grocery segment gross margins, excluding gas, rose 84 basis points from Q4 2013 to Q4 2014.

    The grocer had 202 stores and around 11.1 million square feet of store space at the end of fiscal 2014, and 203 stores and about 11.1 million square feet of store space at the end of fiscal 2013. This year, Ingles opened one new store and closed two. The company’s other store-improvement capital projects included improving merchandising, convenience and product range.

    Basic and diluted earnings per share for Ingles' publicly traded Class A common stock rose to 82 cents and 79 cents per share, respectively, for the September 2014 quarter, versus 71 cents and 68 cents per share, respectively, for the September 2013 quarter.

    Annual Results

    Comparing 2014 with the previous year, comps increased 0.9 percent, excluding gas sales. Gallons and dollars of gasoline sold increased, while the average per gallon sales price fell slightly from 2013, according to the company.

    Gross profit for the fiscal year ended Sept. 27, 2014, grew $17.4 million, or 2.1 percent, to $845.2 million, or 22 percent of sales, versus $827.8 million, or 22.1 percent of sales, for the fiscal year ended Sept. 28, 2013. Grocery-segment gross profit as a percentage of total sales, excluding gas, rose 36 basis points from last year.

    Basic and diluted earnings per share for Ingles' publicly traded Class A common stock were $2.36 and $2.28 per share, respectively, for the year, compared with 89 cents and 87 cents per share, respectively, last year.

    Capital expenditures totaled $110.1 million and $101.5 million for fiscal 2014 and 2013, respectively. Among Ingles' major cap ex projects for fiscal 2014 were a new store, store remodels and the opening of nine fuel stations.

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