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    Ingles Posts Higher Q1 Sales, Net Income

    Comps, gross profit, EPS up as well

    Ingles Markets Inc. has reported increased sales and net income for the three months ended Dec. 27, 2014, compared with $945.1 million in the year-ago period. Q1 net sales grew 2.1 percent to $964.5 million, a $19.4 million rise over last year's quarter, while net income surged 57.7 percent, totaling $15 million.

    "This year's December quarter was stronger than last year's in sales and profitability," affirmed CEO Robert P. Ingle II.

    Comparable-store sales for Q1, excluding gasoline, increased 2.3 percent. The number of customer transactions, excluding gas, fell slightly, while the comparable average transaction size, again excluding gas, rose 3.1 percent from the year-ago period.

    Gross profit for the December 2014 quarter was $224.4 million, or 23.3 percent of sales. Excluding gas sales, grocery-segment gross profit as a percentage of sales rose 58 basis points in Q1 2015, compared with the year-ago period.

    Basic and diluted earnings per share for Ingles' Class A Common Stock were 77 cents and 74 cents, respectively, for the quarter ended Dec. 27, 2014, versus 44 cents and 42 cents per share, respectively, for the quarter ended Dec. 28, 2013. Basic and diluted earnings per share for the company’s Class B Common Stock were each 70 cents for the quarter ended Dec. 27, 2014, compared with 40 cents per basic and diluted Class B share for the quarter ended Dec. 28, 2013.

    Capital expenditures came to $27.6 million for the December 2014 quarter, versus $30 million for the December 2013 quarter. During Q1 2014, the company opened one new store, closed two, and added five pharmacies and 10 fuel centers. Ingles said it expected total fiscal 2015 cap ex to be between $100 million and $140 million.

    Asheville, N.C.-based Ingles operates 202 supermarkets in six southeastern states. In conjunction with its supermarket operations, the company operates neighborhood shopping centers that mostly feature an Ingles store. The grocer also owns a fluid dairy facility that supplies its supermarkets and unaffiliated customers.

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