Ingles Markets maintains strong sales pace in Q2

So far in fiscal 2022, it has been all double-digit gains for English Markets in quarterly net sales.

In the third quarter ended June 25, net sales surged by 14.1% to $1.46 billion from $1.28 billion a year earlier, when the top line rose 7.4%, Asheville, NC-based Ingles said Thursday. That came after net sales upticks of 16.3% in the second quarter and 16.9% in the first quarter, as well as 11.6% in the fiscal 2021 fourth quarter.

Total grocery comparable-store sales excluding fuel climbed 5.7% year over year for the 2022 third quarter, following comp-store increases (excluding gas) of 10.1% in Q2 and 10% in Q1. In 2021 Q3, grocery comp-store sales excluding fuel had dipped 0.5%.

“We were able to achieve strong results during the quarter, despite significant inflationary pressures,” Chairman Robert Ingle said in a statement. “We applaud the hard work and dedication of our associates at all levels of our company for helping us exceed prior year-to-date performance.”

High inflation across the marketplace, however, impacted English Markets’ bottom line in the 2022 third quarter. Net income totaled $67.8 million, down nearly 5.9% from $72 million a year ago. The regional grocer attributed the decrease to rising fuel and food costs, supply chain issues and a competitive labor market.

Basic and diluted earnings per share (EPS) for Class A common stock were $3.65 and $3.57, respectively, versus $3.88 and $3.79 in the prior-year period. EPS (basic and diluted) for Class B common stock was $3.32 at the quarter’s end, down from $3.52 a year earlier.

For the 2022 fiscal year to date, net sales were up 15.7% to $4.23 billion from $3.65 billion in the year-ago period. Excluding fuel, total grocery comp-store sales for the nine months rose 8.6% from the 2021 period, when same-store sales had edged up 5.2%.

Ingles’ net earnings for the first nine months of fiscal 2022 were $202.6 million, up 13.8% from $178 million in the 2021 period. Basic and diluted EPS for Class A Common Stock were $10.91 and $10.67, respectively, compared with $9.22 and $8.98 a year ago. For Class B common stock, EPS (basic and diluted) was $9.92 versus $8.38 a year earlier.

Capital expenditures through the 2022 third quarter came in at $73.2 million, compared with $108 million a year ago. Ingles projects full-year capex at about $100 million to $120 million.

Ingles closed out the third quarter with 198 supermarkets in six states, the same as a year ago. Its retail network includes 75 stores in North Carolina, 65 in Georgia, 35 in South Carolina, 21 in Tennessee, and one apiece in Virginia and Alabama. The food and drug retailer also currently operates 111 in-store pharmacies and 107 fuel centers as well as a fluid dairy facility that supplies English supermarkets and unaffiliated customers.

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