Couche-Tard sees its merchandise sales in the same stores increase in its network

LAVAL, Quebec – Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the parent company of Circle K, posted a strong performance in the second quarter of its 2021 fiscal year as the company continues to see sales increase thanks to the COVID pandemic. 19.

“New customers and the associated market share gains since the onset of the pandemic have continued as customers benefit from the convenience and proximity of our channel. This has led to strong same store sales in all of our regions, ”said Brian Hannasch, President and CEO. reported in the company’s second quarter earnings call on Nov. 25.

Comparable store merchandise revenues increased 4.4% in the United States, 8.6% in Europe and 11.4% in Canada compared to the same quarter last year.

“This increase is mainly attributable to basket growth, which more than offset continued low traffic due to pandemic restrictions on the network,” explained Hannasch.

In store categories, nicotine, packaged and alcoholic beverages, and groceries performed well in all of Couche-Tard’s business units. Fresh food categories saw a slight year-over-year increase in Europe.

“We’ve also worked hard to drive more traffic to our sites through increased awareness of our loyalty programs, gamification and making sure we stay focused on our core value propositions,” added Hannasch.

The company’s Fresh Food, Fast concept reached 1,500 locations in the United States this fall – which was the target number – and is now available in 11 of Couche-Tard’s business units in the United States.

“Our goal remains the quality and ease of our fresh food offering, both for our in-store team and for our consumers. We are also tailoring our offering to meet the tastes and preferences of our local communities, ”said Hannasch. “Based on these results to date, we plan to roll out the program to an additional 3,000 sites by the end of next fiscal year.

In age-restricted products, the alcoholic beverages category benefits from COVID-19 restrictions in restaurants and bars, while nicotine sales continue to perform well compared to the previous year, particularly in Europe. In the United States, Couche-Tard is expanding its assortment of back bars to increase its selection of modern nicotine-based oral products.

Results for the second quarter of fiscal 2021

For the second quarter of fiscal 2021, Couche-Tard reported net income attributable to shareholders of $ 757 million. Adjusted net income for the quarter was around $ 735 million, a 32 percent increase from the previous year, according to Claude Tessier, the company’s chief financial officer.

Net income was $ 1.5 billion for the first half of fiscal 2021, compared to $ 1.1 billion for the first half of fiscal 2020, an increase of 37.3%.

“Our business continues to demonstrate a great deal of flexibility and resilience, despite the disruption in shopping and travel behaviors caused by the pandemic. – not intended for resale and strict control of discretionary spending, ”noted Tessier. “This has kept us on course when it comes to investing in the health and safety of our employees and customers, as we strive to remain relevant when needed and to manage their trust well.”

Second-quarter merchandise and service revenues totaled $ 3.8 billion, an increase of 6.3 percent. The gross margin on goods and services increased 0.1% in the United States to 34%, while it declined from 1.1% to 40.2% in Europe, and remained stable in Canada at 32 , 6%.

Same-store road transportation fuel volume decreased 15.5% in the United States, 4.5% in Europe and 11.8% in Canada.

“While fuel volumes remained negative across the network, we saw sequential improvements in our three geographies, particularly in Europe with favorable weather conditions, more consumer trips during the quarter and a more stable B2B activity, ”Hannasch said. “Overall, we continued to generate good fuel margins, which allowed us to offset volume declines and increase our fuel gross margin.

As of October 11, the Couche-Tard de Laval network numbered 9,261 convenience stores in North America. Its North American network consists of 18 business units, including 14 in the United States covering 47 states and four in Canada covering all 10 provinces. In Europe, the company operates an extensive retail network in Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltic States and Russia through 10 business units. As of October 11, its European network numbered 2,722 stores.

In addition, under license agreements, more than 2,220 stores are operated under the Circle K banner in 15 other countries and territories, bringing its total global network to more than 14,200 stores.