Canadian convenience store operator Couche-Tard has said it will step up its strategic acquisition strategy and increase its dividend after posting a 35% increase in second quarter profits, which rose to US$74.7m, or $0.37 per share, thanks to substantial growth in the US. 

Revenues for the 12 weeks ended 15 October totalled $2.76bn, up 15% from $2.39bn posted for the comparable period of last year.

Chairman and CEO Alain Bouchard said that second quarter growth was mainly driven by acquisitions. "We achieved an excellent second quarter. We are pleased with our results, with the implementation of our IMPACT programme and with our network developments, mainly driven by our acquisitions," he commented. In Canada, Couche-Tard said, growth was primarily a result of a strong economy in Western Canada.

During the second quarter, the convenience giant added 157 stores to its network and closed 67 sites, bringing the total number of stores to 5,204.

Couche-Tard said it will split its US midwest regions into two divisions. The Great Lakes business unit will operate in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, while the other division will be responsible for such states as Kentucky, Illinois and Iowa.

Looking to the full year, Bouchard said that the company intends to continue to expand through acquisitive activity and expects continued revenue growth. "During the second half year, we will benefit from the impact of our new acquisitions while taking advantage of other expansion opportunities in strategic markets in North America. We are confident the Company will maintain satisfactory growth and achieve solid results in upcoming periods," concluded Bouchard.