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Casey’s ‘Most Acquisitive Year’

Store expansion strengthens presence in Nebraska, Illinois, Oklahoma, Tennessee
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Photograph courtesy of Casey's General Stores

ANKENY, Iowa — “Fiscal 2022 was the most acquisitive year in our company’s history,” Casey’s General Stores Inc.’s President and CEO Darren Rebelez said in reporting the convenience-store company’s fourth-quarter and fiscal 2022 results for the period ended April 30.

Casey’s finished out the year with 2,452 stores in 16 states, compared to 2,243 as of April 30, 2021. During the year, the company grew by a total of 228 stores, marking the largest unit growth year in the company's history. Known for building more than buying, Casey’s acquired 207 stores, and it built 21 new stores. The company closed 20 stores.

  • Casey’s is No. 3 onCSP’s2022 Top 40 update to the 2021 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by store count. Watch for the full 2022 Top 202 ranking in the June issue of CSP magazine and CSP Daily News.

In May 2021, Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s closed on the acquisition of Omaha, Neb.-based Buchanan Energy, owner of Bucky’s Convenience Stores. The transaction included 94 retail c-stores and 79 dealer locations, which increased Casey’s footprint by 4% to more than 2,300 stores.

In June 2021, Casey’s closed on the purchase of 48 convenience stores from Circle K-owner Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. The transaction, announced in March, follows Couche-Tard’s decision to divest 355 sites in North America following a strategic review.

And in December 2021, Casey’s closed on the acquisition of 40 c-stores from Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot Corp. in a $220 million all-cash transaction.

“The fourth quarter was the first one where we are fully consolidating the results from all three of the significant acquisitions that we closed this year, and it’s easy to see the impact of the unit growth along with the strong mothership execution on our total results in the quarter,” Casey’s CFO Steve Bramlage said on the company’s earnings call.

“Through these acquisitions, we have strengthened our presence in the Nebraska and Illinois markets through the Bucky’s acquisition and acquired immediate scale in the Oklahoma City and Knoxville, Tenn., markets with the Circle K and Pilot acquisitions, respectively,” said Rebelez. “These acquisitions also fit seamlessly into our existing distribution network with the addition of our third [distribution center] in Joplin, Mo., in May of 2021 and continued our expansion into the southwest portion of our footprint. We are excited about the strong progress we’ve made integrating all three strategic acquisitions and realized approximately $15 million in run rate synergies on the Bucky’s acquisition this year.”

Casey’s expects to add approximately 80 stores in fiscal 2023, a mix of new builds and acquired units—“half and half,” said Bramlage, and the company expects to exceed its stated three-year commitment of 345 units.

“Our store growth pillar, be where the guest is via disciplined store growth, was on full display in fiscal ’22,” Rebelez said. “We more than doubled our previous record high unit growth with 228 newly constructed and acquired stores. Our two-pronged approach to growing the business by taking advantage of strategic acquisitions when they are available alongside organic growth should give our shareholders peace of mind that we can ratably grow the business year after year. Our dedicated M&A team is still sourcing more stores, whether it be a single-store owner or a 100-store regional chain. In the meantime, our real estate team is actively pursuing sites for new-store construction. This strategy enables Casey’s to remain disciplined. We do not need to overpay or chase non-strategic acquisitions to hit our growth targets.”

Earnings Highlights

  • Casey’s reported net earnings of $59.8 million in its fourth-quarter 2022, versus $41.7 million for fourth-quarter 2021.
  • Net earnings for fiscal-year 2022 were $339.8 million, versus $312.9 million for fiscal-year 2021
  • Fourth-quarter inside same-store sales rose 5.2% with an inside margin of 39.4%.
  • Fourth-quarter fuel same-store gallons sold rose 1.5% with a fuel margin of 36.2 cents per gallon.
  • Operating expenses increased 15.2% for the fourth quarter. Approximately 9% of the increase is due to the chain operating 209 more stores than a year ago, it said.
  • Casey's Rewards had approximately 5 million members at fiscal year end, adding more than 1.3 million in the year.
  • For fiscal 2023, Casey’s expects same-store inside sales to increase 4% to 6% and maintain an inside margin of approximately 40%, it said, and it expects same-store fuel gallons to be flat to 2% higher.

 

Click here to view the full results.

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