Alimentation Couche-Tard reports soaring profits in 4Q
Laval, Quebec Canadian c-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard said Tuesday that net earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter leaped 81%, to $68.8 million.
The company attributed the gains to a combination of factors including an increase in U.S. fuel margins, rises in same-store merchandise sales in Canada and the United States, tightened expense controls and contributions from stores acquired during the period.
Revenues rose 33.7% in the quarter, from $3 billion to $4 billion.
For the year, the company generated a 19.3% increase in net earnings, to $302.9 million.
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., which in the United States owns Circle K and has made a $1.9 billion hostile takeover bid for Casey’s, is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry. Couche-Tard currently operates a network of 5,878 convenience stores in the United States and Canada.
On Monday, Couche-Tard extended its offer for Casey’s after picking up 19% of Casey’s shares in the initial tender-offer period. The bid will now expire Aug. 6.
Same story, different month
Delinquency trends within Target’s portfolio of credit card receivables continued to show improvement in June. The percentage of accounts 60 days past due sank to 4.9% in June, the lowest level so far this year and a sharp improvement from the 5.2% seen in May. The percentage of accounts 60 days past due is approaching levels not seen since the summer of 2008. Also showing improvement are the number of accounts 90 days past due. Roughly 3.6% of accounts are 90 days past, down from 3.7% in May and 4.5% at the beginning of the fiscal year.
No wonder traffic is up
Target was the top-ranked retailer during the first half of 2010 in terms promotional advertising pages, according to Kantar Media, with roughly 1.3 billion pages. That figures represents a 67% increase from the first six months of 2009 when the company also was the top-ranked retailer in terms of promotional pages. Following Target in the ranking of promotional pages were Dollar General, Walgreens, PetSmart, Family Dollar, CVS, Kroger, Petco, Publix and Ralphs.
The promotional data was part of a study in which Kantar examined free standing insert (FSI) trends during the first six months of the year and discovered a 10.1% increase.
“In addition to Target’s expanded use of cooperative FSI coupon vehicles to support their retailer promotion activity, other leading retailer are expanding their use of retail promotion events, especially with the food, drug, value and pet specialty channels,” said Mark Nesbitt, president of Kantar Media Intelligence. “One of the trends observed in response to the declining economy was consolidation of retail shopping trips within the super center format. The increase used of retail promotional events wtih cooperative FSI coupon vehicles may be an effective retail response to company the consolidation of trips.”