ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Ingles Markets here said yesterday it would raise capital spending to $200 million this year — an increase of more than 14% over the $175 million it said earlier this year it would spend. “This increased level of spending reflects our confidence in our store-development process, even during current economic uncertainties," Ronald B. Freeman, chief financial officer and vice president, finance, told analysts during a conference call to discuss financial results for the second quarter and first half that ended March 29. The focus of spending will be top-line growth, he added, with plans for two more new stores, three remodelings, three replacement stores and eight new fuel centers during the second half; during the first half, the chain opened four replacement stores, completed one remodeling, added five fuel centers and purchased nine parcels of land and two shopping centers. Net income fell 3.8% to $13 million for the quarter — following recognition of a $3.2 million reduction in income tax expense in the year-ago quarter — and rose 4.1% to $25.7 million for the half; sales rose 14.9% to $782.8 million for the quarter and 14.1% to $1.6 billion for the six-month period, while comps, excluding the shift of Easter and gasoline sales, rose 8.4% in the quarter and the half.
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