Ingles Markets' FY07 Net Income Highest Ever

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Both sales and profits were up for Southeastern grocer Ingles Markets, Inc. here during the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Sept. 29. For the fourth quarter, net income rose 23.3 percent to $14.2 million as a result of a 3.2 percent increase in net sales to $746.0 million compared with the same period in fiscal 2006. Grocery segment comparable store sales growth was 9.3 percent.

Ingles said this was its 43rd consecutive year of sales growth, and that its 2007 net income was the highest in the company's history.

For fiscal year 2007, net income increased 37.7 percent to a record $58.6 million, driven by a 9.2 percent increase in sales to $2.85 billion compared with fiscal 2006 results.

Sales increased in every department except one, the company said. In general, net sales increases were driven by effective promotions, service execution, and expanded product selections, according to the retailer.

Ingles noted that its combination of fuel stations, pharmacies, meal replacement items, organics, and expanded perishable offerings have allowed customers to "combine shopping trips during a period of high fuel costs." Year over year, both average weekly customer visits and average purchase amount increased.

Commenting on the results, c.e.o. Robert P. Ingle noted in a statement, "We increased sales and profits over last year with one fewer week in the fourth quarter and the year. We're pleased with our sales growth and the contribution from the seven new or remodeled stores we opened in 2007. Customers made over 100 million visits to our 197 stores during the year."

Ingle added, "We did our best to keep prices low while food and fuel costs have been increasing."

Excluding gasoline sales and adjusting for the additional fiscal 2006 week, fourth quarter sales increased 8.8 percent compared with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. Gasoline gallons sold increased by 16 percent and the average price per gallon increased approximately two cents compared with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. At fiscal year-end 2007, Ingles operated 44 fuel centers compared with 36 at fiscal year-end 2006.

Ingles, which operates 197 supermarkets and 71 neighborhood shopping centers, said its capital expenditure plans for fiscal 2008 include investments of approximately $105 million.

The company plans to open 10 new, replacement, or remodeled stores and add 10 fuel stations at either new or existing stores. The company expects annual capital expenditures to range from $90 to $110 million for the foreseeable future.
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