Ingles Markets on Monday said comparable-store sales decreased during the fiscal first quarter despite an increase in price investment that hurt profits. 

“It was a very competitive holiday quarter with higher promotions and tighter margins in our market area,” CFO Ronald Freeman said in a conference call discussing results for the period, which ended Dec. 28.


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Total quarterly sales of $945.1 million increased by 1.1% as compared to the same period last year, but non-fuel comparable-store sales decreased by 0.8%. Customer visits increased slightly but average ticket was down, Ingles said.

Price investments contributed to a 2.3% decline in gross profits for the quarter. As a percentage of sales, profits of 21.5% were down from 22.3% in last year’s first quarter.

Freeman said Ingles had not determined what effect the reduction in SNAP benefits may have had on sales during the quarter.

Ingles stock was trading down by more than 7% early Monday following the results announcement.

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