The chief of Canadian convenience store group Alimentation Couche-Tard has said he is “satisfied” with the company’s performance, despite posting flat profits over the last 12 months.


Couche-Tard, the third-largest convenience chain across North America, posted net earnings of US$196.4m for the year to 29 April. That compared to $196.2m a year earlier.


“We are very satisfied with our progress achieved on many fronts this year,” said Alain Bouchard, the company’s chairman, president and CEO. “Particularly on the development side, with the addition of 506 company-operated stores, far exceeding our expectations in a much more competitive acquisitions environment.”


However, Bouchard pointed to the impact of two “external issues” on the company’s earnings during the year.


He said fuel sales were “volatile”, while the company also took a tax charge of $9.9m. “If we exclude that, and consider a standardized motor fuel net margin, earnings would have increased over US$35.2m, or 18.2%,” Bouchard added. “This proves that the merchandise and service growth, our most profitable sector, is very healthy.”


Couche-Tard posted a 19% rise in revenue to $12.1bn. Sales were buoyed by acquisitions, with Couche-Tard’s store network growing from 4,983 stores to 5,513 outlets. The company acquired 496 outlets during the year.