Couche-Tard still eyeing acquisitions

Couche-Tard still eyeing acquisitions

Canadian forecourt and convenience retailer Alimentation Couche-Tard has booked a 30.8% jump in year-to-date net earnings, boosted by rising gas sales.

The company said that net earnings in the nine-months to 30 January rose to US$306.1m, up from $234.1m last year. Operating income increased 27.2%, climbing to $433.7m during the period.

Couche-Tard said that earnings were driven by higher gas sales, which were propelled by both higher volumes and selling prices. North American gas sales rose 17.7% during the nine-months, boosting total revenue gains to 13.6%. General merchandise sales, including food products, rose 6.4%.

The group indicated that it remains on the look-out for bolt on acquisitions "at the right price", having walked away from its high-profile hostile takeover bid for Casey's General Stores in October.

Couche-Tard president and CEO Alain Bouchard commented: "As for acquisitions, we are looking at many interesting opportunities but as we have mentioned many times in the past, we don't want to favour store count growth to the detriment of shareholders' return. Yet, when the right opportunity at the right price presents itself, we will be ready."