ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Product price inflation and vendor-supported promotions over the holiday season helped Ingles Markets here post a 38.5% increase in net earnings for the fiscal first quarter, the company said Monday. Net sales rose 5.2% to $918.2 million for the quarter, which ended Dec. 24. Comparable-store sales, excluding gasoline, increased 3.4% as average transaction size gained by 1.3% and customer visits increased by 2%. “It was a very competitive holiday quarter ...

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