ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Ingles Markets eked out a small gain in comparable-store sales, but net income fell by 45.6% in the fiscal first quarter that ended Dec. 26, the retailer here said last week. Price deflation, changing consumer buying habits and a slower ramp-up of new stores brought on by the economic downturn impacted results. Overall sales increased 4.5% to $841 million, and comps excluding gasoline increased by 0.8%. Net earnings fell from $11.1 million to $6 million. “Given the ...

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