Convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard has recorded strong growth in the fourth quarter (Q4) of fiscal 2012 and aims to focus on the integration of recently acquired Statoil Fuel & Retail.
Revenues totalled $6.1bn in the fourth quarter, up 28% from the comparable period of prior fiscal, attributable to acquisitions, rise in motor fuel sales, and same-store merchandise and service sales growth in the US.
The retailer said the growth of merchandise and service revenues for the fourth quarter was $212.5m or 15.1%, of which about $42m was generated by acquisitions.
As for internal growth, on a 12-week comparable basis, same-store merchandise revenues increased by 3.4% in the US and 5.4% in Canada.
Couche-Tard vice-president and chief financial officer Raymond Paré said excluding positive and negative non-recurring items, net earnings for the fourth quarter rose $37.9m or 58.8%.
"With the acquisition of Statoil fuel & Retail, we expect a positive contribution to our earnings and to value creation from the start and for many years to come, but it is clear that the transaction has contributed to increase our indebtedness level," Paré added.
Motor fuel revenues were up by $1.1bn or 33.4% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, of which nearly $527m stems from acquisitions.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew 48.9% to $203m in the fourth quarter, compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.
Couche-Tard acquired 98.9% of the issued and outstanding shares of Scandinavian retailer Statoil Fuel & Retail for a cash consideration of NOK51.20 per share for a total amount of NOK15.2bn or nearly $2.6bn.
In April 2012, the retailer acquired 17 company-operated stores operating in Maine, US from Dead River Company, as well as two stand-alone quick-service restaurants.
In addition, during the fourth quarter, Couche-Tard acquired four additional company-operated stores through distinct transactions for a cumulated total of 18 stores since the beginning of fiscal 2012.
As of 29 April 2012, Couche-Tard had a network of 5,803 convenience stores, 4,216 of which include motor fuel dispensing.
The company's network consists of 13 business units, including nine in the US covering 42 states and the District of Columbia, and four in Canada covering all ten provinces.