Hurricane Activity Helps Ingles’ Q4
Ingles Markets Inc. has posted higher quarter-four sales and net income than the year-ago period, noting that the hurricane activity that recently roiled its home region “provided a positive benefit in the current-year quarter.” For fiscal 2017, meanwhile, Ingles logged total sales of $4 billion, compared with $3.79 billion in fiscal year 2016, although net income for fiscal 2017 came to $53.9 million, compared with $54.2 million last year.
Fellow Southeast regional grocer Publix Super Markets, based in Lakeland, Fla., similarly attributed its higher third-quarter sales to the impact of Hurricane Irma, which ravaged its home state in September.
Ingles’ total sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 were $1.09 billion compared with $962.4 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was $19.4 million, versus $14.2 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.
The company’s net sales were $1.09 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $962.4 million in the year-ago period. Comparable-store sales grew 3.6 percent, excluding gasoline and adjusted to reflect the same number of weeks in each fourth quarter, as the fiscal year and quarter ended September 2017 contained 53 weeks and 14 weeks, respectively, one extra week than the fiscal year and quarter ended September 2016.
Gross profit for Ingles’ fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 rose to $261.3 million, versus $237.2 million last year, while gross profit as a percentage of sales came to 24 percent and 24.7 percent for the 2017 and 2016 fourth quarters, respectively.
Net income for the company’s September 2017 14-week quarter increased to $19.4 million, compared with $14.2 million for the 13-week September 2016 quarter. Basic and diluted earnings per share for Ingles’ publicly traded Class A common stock were 99 cents and 96 cents per share, respectively, for the September 2017 quarter, versus 72 cents and 70 cents per share, respectively, for year-ago period.
“Our company achieved strong results due to the hard work and dedication of our associates,” said Chairman of the Board Robert P. Ingle II. “We will continue to bring our customers products they desire and flawless service in our stores.”
For fiscal year 2017, Ingles’ comps edged up 1.5 percent over fiscal 2016, excluding gasoline and adjusted to reflect the same number of weeks in each fiscal year. The number of transactions and the average transaction size both rose in fiscal year 2017 from the prior year.
The company’s gross profit for fiscal year 2017 grew $39.2 million, or 4.2 percent, to $963.6 million, or 24.1 percent of sales, versus $924.4 million, or 24.4 percent of sales, for fiscal year 2016.
Basic and diluted earnings per share for the company’s publicly traded Class A common stock were $2.74 and $2.66 per share, respectively, for the year ended Sept. 30, versus $2.75 and $2.68 per share, respectively, for the year-ago period.
Ingles’ capital expenditures totaled $127.7 million and $137.6 million for fiscal years 2017 and 2016, respectively. During fiscal 2017, the grocer opened two new store buildings and closed four stores, one of which is being rebuilt and will reopen in this month. Additional cap ex undertakings in fiscal 2017 focused on enhancing merchandising, convenience and the range of products offered to customers.
Asheville, N.C.-based Ingles has 199 supermarkets in six southeastern states. In conjunction with its supermarket operations, the company operates neighborhood shopping centers, most of which contain an Ingles supermarket, and owns a fluid-dairy facility that supplies company supermarkets and unaffiliated customers.