WALTHAM, Mass. — In a year rife with pandemic disruption, Global Partners LP saw its full-year sales drop a stunning $4.76 billion in 2020. Still the owner, supplier and operator of gas stations and convenience stores reported the strongest gross profits in at least five years at $721 million.
“Global delivered extraordinary results in 2020, posting net income of $102.2 million,” said President and CEO Eric Slifka. “Our performance in the face of a global pandemic underscores the resilience of our business model and highlights our fundamental role as a critical infrastructure company.”
That’s not to say the retailer didn’t struggle in 2020.
“From mid-March into April of 2020, we saw reductions of more than 50% in gasoline volume and more than 20% in convenience-store sales,” the company wrote in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on March 5, “but have since seen increases in both gasoline volume and convenience-store sales as some businesses reopened and directives from federal, state and municipal authorities became less restrictive.”
During the fourth quarter, Global Partners saw sales of $2.2 billion compared to $3.3 billion a year earlier. For full-year 2020, sales totaled $8.3 billion vs. $13.1 billion the prior year. In 2019, gross profits totaled $662.7 million.
“Station operations contributed $51 million to product margin, down $4.4 million from the fourth-quarter of 2019, due to less activity at our convenience stores,” said Daphne Foster, CFO, during a company earnings call on March 5. “For full-year 2020, GDSO (gasoline distribution and station operations) product margin increased $4.3 million to $603.9 million, driven by a 6-cents-per-gallon increase in average fuel margin to 29 cents in 2020, which more than offset a 16% decrease in volume.”
During the fourth quarter, Global Partners signed an agreement to purchase the retail fuel and convenience-store assets of Milford, Conn.-based Consumers Petroleum of Connecticut Inc. and its 27 Wheels-branded c-stores. Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in second-quarter 2021.
- Global Partners is No. 27 on the 2021 update of CSP’s 2020 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of retail outlets.
With approximately 1,550 locations primarily in the Northeast, Waltham, Mass.-based Global Partners is one of the region’s largest independent owners, suppliers and operators of gas stations and c-stores. It has nearly 300 company-owned retail outlets under the Alltown, Alltown Fresh, XtraMart, Honey Farms, Jiffy Mart, T-Bird, Mr. Mike’s, Fast Freddie’s, Convenience Plus and P&H Truck Stop brands.