US retailer Ingles Markets has reported record full-year sales, as well as a steep rise in net income.

Sales for the year ended 24 September rose to US$3.56bn, up from $3.39bn in the same period last year. Grocery comparable-store sales increased 2.3%.

Net income for the period increased 26.6% to $39.1m compared with 2010, while operating income rose to $118m, up from $109m.

Fourth-quarter sales rose 5.8% to $905.8m and grocery segment comparable store sales excluding fuel increased 2.2% for the fourth quarter.

Ingles said its fourth-quarter net income increased 33.1% to $11m. Operating income also rose to $30.5m from $28.4m.

CEO Robert Ingle said the company has had to respond to the current competitive environment by keeping prices as low as possible in order to grow sales and market share.

"We are proud of both increased sales and profits, reflecting a fitting tribute to the way my father built and ran this company. We have a great group of managers and associates that continue to drive excellent results," he said yesterday (5 December).

Capital expenditure increased 5% to $97.5m during fiscal 2011 as Ingles opened, replaced or remodelled four stores and also began construction of a new distribution facility that is expected to open in 2012.