US regional retailer Ingles Markets has booked an increase in first-quarter profits, despite what it claims was a “very competitive” holiday season.

In the three months ended 29 December, net profit amounted to US$11.6m, a 9.2% increase on the prior year period. Operating profit climbed 10.2% to $33.5m.

Sales in the period edged up 1.6% to $932.8m. Comparable grocery sales, excluding fuel, were up 1.5%.