Alimentation Couche-Tard, Toronto, reported a stronger quarterly profit on Tuesday, despite a steep drop in revenue. The boost in profit came mainly from higher gasoline margins and a rise in U.S. cigarette sales ahead of the April tax hike, Reuters reported.
Couche-Tard, North America’s second-biggest c-store retailer, which operates 5,400 c-stores (3,607 of which offer gasoline), said it earned $38 million, or 20 cents a share, in its fourth quarter, up from $15.5 million, or 8 cents a share, the previous year.
Couche-Tard’s shares have climbed 48% in the past year, and were up 4.1% early on Tuesday afternoon. Couche-Tard’s fourth quarter ended on April 26.
The company, which operates under the Circle K banner in the U.S. and Mac’s in Canada, said revenue fell 19.2% to $2.99 billion because of lower retail prices on gas, as well as a weaker Canadian dollar. Meanwhile, the company said fuel gross margin for the company-operated stores in the U.S. rose 13.6% to 11.38 cents per gallon.