profits jump at caseys

C-store chain also announced Ronald Lamb will retire as an executive officer effective April 30.

Casey’s General Stores Inc. said second quarter profits increased 62% to $27.7 million from $17.2 million a year ago. Sales for the quarter, which ended Oct. 31, totaled $1.19 billion, up from $1 billion a year ago.

Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s, which operates 1,450 convenience stores in nine Midwestern states, said same-store gasoline sales were down 1.6% but overall sales were up 3.9% for the quarter, when newly added stores were included. Gasoline profit for the first six months of the year rose 61.4% to $92 million, the company said.”Throughout the first six months, a favorable market environment kept our average margin unusually high,” said Chief Executive Robert Myers. “Same-store gallons were slowed by prices at the pump and measured against difficult comparisons from a year ago; nevertheless, our same-store customer count continued to be positive.”

Strong fountain drink sales helped drive same-store prepared food and fountain sales up 10.6 percent for the quarter from a year ago while grocery and other merchandise was up 11.2%.

The company said it plans to acquire 50 stores and build 10 others by April 30.

The company also announced that Ronald Lamb would retire as an executive officer effective April 30. Lamb, who has been employed by the company for more than 37 years, most recently as chairman of the executive committee, will continue to serve as board chairman.

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