US convenience store operator Pantry has raised its earnings forecast for its fiscal year to 25 September 2003, after a strong operational performance in the fourth quarter.

North Carolina-based Pantry said it expects full-year earnings, before the cumulative effect of an accounting change, of between 80 and 83 cents per share, compared to previous guidance of 68 to 72 cents per share. The company earned 10 cents per share in the previous year, reported Reuters.

Pantry, which operates more than 1,200 stores in ten states, forecast fiscal 2003 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of between US$127m and $128m, compared to a previous forecast of $124.5m to $126m.