No Pandemic Slowdown at Ingles Markets

North Carolina grocery chain posts Q2 revenue, profit bumps
Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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a person standing in front of a store
The Blue Ridge, Georgia, location is just one of the stores that Ingles will hold a hiring event at next week.

Southeastern grocery chain Ingles Markets continued to leverage pandemic-driven sales into increased revenue and profit during the second quarter.

The company reported that net sales totaled $1.18 billion for the second quarter ended March 27, an increase of 3.4% compared with $1.14 billion for the quarter ended March 28, 2020. Gross profit for the second quarter of fiscal 2021 was $310.5 million, or 26.2% of sales. Net income was $52.2 million, compared with $40.3 million for the three-month period ended March 28, 2020. Basic and diluted earnings per share for Class A Common Stock were $2.65 and $2.58, respectively, for the quarter.

"We continue to be pleased with our results and wish to thank all our associates for their dedication and hard work," said Robert P. Ingle II, chairman of the board.

While some grocery chains are beginning to forecast negative sales gains in 2021 as they cycle against the massive spikes of 2020, others, such as Ingles and Publix Super Markets, are still generating sales gains post-pandemic.

Ingles said operating and administrative expenses for quarter totaled $236.9 million compared with $228.4 million for the March 2020 quarter. Most of the increase was due to higher costs incurred to support additional safety measures related to the pandemic.

For the first half of fiscal 2021, net sales totaled $2.37 billion, an increase of 6.8% compared with $2.22 billion in the first half of 2020. Gross profit totaled $624.7 million, compared with $549.1 million for the first six months of last fiscal year. Gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 26.3% for the March 2021 six-month period, compared with 24.7% for the March 2020 six-month period. Net income totaled $106 million for the six-month period ended March 27, compared with $58 million for the six-month period ended March 28, 2020.

Capital expenditures for the March 2021 six-month period totaled $69.4 million compared with $56.8 million for the March 2020 six-month period. Capital expenditures are focused on stores that opened this fiscal year as well as stores scheduled to open later.

The company currently has $81.5 million available under its $175 million line of credit. It believes its financial resources, including the line of credit and other internal and anticipated external sources of funds, will be sufficient to meet planned capital expenditures, debt service and working capital requirements for the foreseeable future.

Next week, Ingles plans to hold hiring events for more than 4,000 openings across all stores and departments. The May hiring fair follows the grocer’s last job fair, which was held in March at its Black Mountain, North Carolina, distribution center.

Ingles recently revealed its plans to award paid time for its fully vaccinated associates. Full-time associates will receive 10 hours of paid time, and part-time associates will receive five hours of paid time, once they've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Operating 198 supermarkets in six southeastern states, Asheville, North Carolina-based Ingles is No. 52 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.