US: Lower fuel margins hit c-store retailer Casey's
- H1 net income down
- Lower fuel margins hit earnings
Casey's H1 earnings down
Lower margins from gas sales have hit half-year profits at US c-store retailer Casey's General Stores.
Net income fell 6.7% to US$71.9m for the six months to the end of October despite higher sales.
Casey's pointed to lower margins from fuel sales compared to a year ago when gas margins were at an "all-time high".
Competition and a tax increase in Illinois has hit cigarette sales and depressed sales form Casey's grocery and other merchandise business.
However, second-quarter same-store sales of prepared food and fountain increased 10.1%. That said, Casey's is targeting an increase of 11% in its current financial year
Casey’s Strong Prepared Food Performance Offsets Cigarette Challenges
Ankeny, IA, December 10, 2012—Casey’s General Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq symbol CASY) today reported $0.85 in diluted earnings per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 ended October 31, 2012 compared to $0.98 for the same period a year ago. Year to date, diluted earnings per share were $1.86 versus $2.01 for the same period last year. Both the quarter and year-to-date earnings were impacted by lower gas margins when compared to the all-time high gas margins from the same periods a year ago. “Our prepared food program is doing exceptionally well, but the cigarette environment remains very challenging for retailers,” said Chairman and CEO Robert J. Myers.
“We are diligently evaluating the competitive landscape and will maintain a disciplined approach when making cigarette price adjustments.”
Gasoline—The Company’s annual goal is to increase same-store gallons sold 1% with an average margin of 14.0 cents per gallon. For the second quarter, same-store gallons sold were down 0.4% with an average margin of 14.9 cents per gallon. “We believe higher retail prices had an adverse impact to sales, however the gas margin environment has been favorable when compared to our annual goal.” said Myers.
Total gallons sold for the year were up 3.2% with an average margin of 14.9 cents per gallon. Year-to-date same store gallons sold were down 0.3%. Grocery and Other Merchandise—Casey’s annual goal is to increase same-store sales 6.2% with an average margin of 32.7%. For the second quarter, same-store sales were down 0.7% with an average margin of 33.4%. “Cigarettes have been adversely impacted by competitive pricing as well as an Illinois state excise tax increase,” stated Myers. “However, the grocery & other merchandise margin is above goal primarily due to a more favorable product mix within the category.” For the six months ended October 31, 2012, same-store sales were up 0.7% with an average margin of 33.4%. Total sales for the year were up 3.6% and gross profit increased 6.4% to $250 million.
Prepared Food and Fountain—The goal for fiscal 2013 is to increase same-store sales 11% with an average margin of 61.1%. For the quarter, same-store sales were up 10.1% with an average margin of 62.5%. “This category continues to benefit from three primary operating initiatives: expanded hours, pizza delivery, and major store remodels,” said Myers. “The margin continues to exceed our annual goal primarily due to an increase in pizza sales.” Year to date, total sales were up 14.5% and gross profit rose 19.4% to $182.1 million.
Operating Expenses—Year to date, operating expenses increased 10.5% to $379.4 million. For the second quarter, operating expenses were up 10.6%. Expenses were impacted by the operating initiatives mentioned above, operating 27 more stores than a year ago, and the completion of 20 replacement stores in the last 12 months. “So far this fiscal year we have converted 150 stores to 24-hour operation, added pizza delivery to 103 stores, and completed 51 major remodels,” stated Myers. “We will continue to implement these initiatives where we believe we can drive cash flow.”
Store-level operating expenses for locations not impacted by the initiatives were up approximately 3.5% for the quarter.
Expansion—The annual goal is to increase the total number of stores 4-6%. At the mid-year point, the Company opened 8 new store constructions and completed the acquisition of 3 stores. The Company has also replaced 13 stores. “In November we completed the acquisition of 22 Kum and Go locations and opened our first stores in Tennessee and North Dakota,” stated Myers. “We are on pace to build 30 new stores this fiscal year and continue to be optimistic with the acquisition environment.” Casey’s currently has 13 stores under construction and has 8 stores under written agreement to acquire.
Dividend—At its December meeting, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.165 per share. The dividend is payable February 15, 2013 to shareholders of record on February 1, 2013
Original source: Casey's General Stores
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