US convenience stores were able to grow sales and profits in an otherwise tough year as a drop in wholesale prices boosted fuel margins, data out today (8 April) suggests.

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) said that overall c-store profits rose 54% last year, reaching US$5.2bn. Sales were up 8.1%, driven by a 10.1% jump in fuel sales. In-store sales increased 3.2%.

The growth of in-store sales defied the overall trend in US retail sales, which fell 0.6% during the year, according to US Department of Commerce data. 

While cigarette sales accounted for almost one in every three dollars spent, foodservice - which includes dispensed beverages and food prepared on site - continues to show "strong growth", accounting for nearly one in four in-store profit dollars.