US c-store retailer The Pantry said profits have not met its expectations for 2012, despite an increase in like-for-like shop sales.

Like-for-like store sales rose by 3.3% for the 12 months to the end of December, up from a growth rate of just 0.2% in 2011, The Pantry said in a note to shareholders yesterday (23 January).

However, lower earnings in the fuels business meant The Pantry’s adjusted EBITDA fell by 9% versus 2011, to US$210.1m.

“While we were pleased with our inside comparable store sales growth and the reduction we made in expenses, our fuel gross margin and adjusted EBITDA did not meet our expectations,” said the company, which will hold its annual general meeting on 14 March.