Canadian convenience operator Couche-Tard posted record net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, up 42% against the same period of the previous year.

The chain posted C$129.5m (US$122.6m) net earnings, which it attributed to increases in merchandise and service sales, the growth in same-store motor fuel volume in both Canada and the US as well as a 3.69 cents per gallon increase in motor fuel gross margin in the US.

Same store merchandise sales were up 4.4% in the US and up 5.4% in Canada.

“There is nothing like finishing a year on a great note and starting another one the same way,” said president and CEO Alain Bouchard. “During fiscal 2010, we posted a record year and we are starting fiscal 2011 with a record quarter. It’s even better when the results are supported by what makes us what we are: in-store sales. Indeed, during the quarter, same-store merchandise sales as well as the merchandise and service margin both showed interesting growth.

Regarding the company’s ongoing attempts to takeover Iowa-based chain Casey’s, Bouchard said: “I am disappointed by the decision of their Board of Directors to reject our offers and to create obstacles without even opening the dialog. But I still believe that the combination of Casey’s and Couche-Tard is in the best interest of both companies’ shareholders and other stakeholders. However, we will continue to evaluate our options and take decisions based on the actions of Casey’s Board of Directors and its shareholders.”

Further details of Couche-Tard’s results can be found here.