Couche-Tard, the Canadian c-store retailer, has booked an increase in second-quarter profits, driven by a growth in merchandise and service sales.

For the three months to 10 October, the retailer saw profits climb 19.7% to US$105.6m. Operating profit rose 15.8% to $149.9m, it reported today (23 November). Sales climbed 10.8% to reach $4.24bn.

The growth of merchandise and service revenues for the quarter amounted to $79m or 5.6%. Internal growth, as measured by the growth in same-store merchandise revenues, was 4.9% in the US while it stood at 1.6% in Canada.

"The economic recovery is slow to pick up momentum, especially in the US, as demonstrated by the modest growth in same-store motor fuel volume we recorded in this market," said Alain Bouchard, president and CEO. "However, our focus on merchandise sales and margins as well as on expense control still allows us to deliver good results.

"As for acquisitions, despite the fact we decided not to renew our offer for Casey's, we are looking at other opportunities that may prove to be interesting. However, we will continue to favour a disciplined approach by ensuring to pay a fair price for stores that are offered to us," he added.

In the 23-week period to 10 October, the retailer earned $235.1m, a 31.1% increase on the prior-year period. Operating profit rose 26.1% to $331.6m, while sales increased 13.5% to $8.51m.

Click here to view the full earnings release.