For the third quarter ending Jan. 29, 2017, Couche-Tard reported net earnings of $287 million, compared with net earnings of $274 million for its third quarter ending Jan. 31, 2016, an increase of $13 million or 4.7%.
“This performance was driven by our acquisitions, continued organic growth and solid expense control as well as by the impact of lower income tax rate for the quarter,” said Hannasch. “The performance was offset by lower fuel margins primarily in the U.S., but also in parts of Europe as we saw persistent increases in product costs through the quarter while increases in retail prices lagged."
For the quarter, same-store merchandise revenues increased by 1.9% in the United States, compared with 5% for the same period in 2016. Merchandise and service gross margin decreased by 0.4% in the United States, from 33.3% in third-quarter 2016 to 32.9% in third-quarter 2017.
Same-store road transportation fuel volumes grew 2.8% in the United States during the quarter, compared with 6.2% the previous year. Road transportation fuel gross margin decreased by 1.57 cents per gallon (CPG) or 7.9% in the United States to 18.33 CPG from 19.90 CPG.
The company showed a “strong” quarterly performance in cost control with an increase of 1.9% on a comparable basis.
Couche-Tard’s network includes 8,081 c-stores throughout North America, including 6,710 stores with road transportation fuel dispensing. Its North American network consists of 15 business units, including 11 in the United States covering 41 states and four in Canada covering all 10 provinces. In Europe, Couche-Tard operates a broad retail network of 2,766 stores across Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics states and Russia through 10 business units.