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ASHEVILLE, NC-Ingles Markets will continue to expand in its Southeast base, focusing on the Carolinas, executives said at its first quarter conference call. For the balance of the fiscal year, Ingles plans to open three new or replacement stores, remodel three stores and add fuel stations at 13 existing stores.

In addition to the Carolinas, the company expects activity in Georgia and Tennessee. Capital expenditures are expected to be about $100 million, up from $94.3 million last year.

“We have some areas we want to be in, and there’s a lot we want to do,” said Ronald B. Freeman, chief financial officer.

During the first quarter, Ingles opened one new store, closed one store, completed one major remodel, and added one fuel/convenience center and two fuel centers at existing store locations.

Net sales rose 10% from the prior year to $685.7 million. Grocery segment comparable store sales rose 10.4%. Excluding gasoline sales, first quarter fiscal 2007 net sales increased 7.1% and grocery segment comparable store sales increased 7.4% compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2006. Net income was $11.2 million, up 44% from the previous year.

Ingles Markets operates 197 supermarkets in six southeastern states. The Company also operates 74 neighborhood shopping centers, all but 19 of which contain an Ingles supermarket.

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