Convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard is boosting its quarterly dividend by 25 per cent as its profit surged 19 per cent, excluding last year's gains from its failed bid for Casey's General Stores.
Excluding a $11.4-million (U.S.) gain from the sale of Casey's shares and a reversal of provisions, profit increased by $10.2-million or 5 cents per share.
The Quebec-based operator, which reports in U.S. dollars, earned $64-million or 34 cents per share for the period ended April 24. That compared to $68.8-million or 37 cents a year earlier.
Couche-Tard had $4.84-billion in revenue for the quarter, up nearly 21 per cent from $4-billion in the year-ago period.
For the full year, it earned $370.1-million or $1.97 per share, up from $302.9-million or $1.60 per share. Revenue increased to nearly $19-billion from $16.4-billion in 2010.
Couche-Tard was expected to earn 30 cents per share on $4.64-billion in the fourth quarter and $1.94 per share on $18.6-billion of revenue for the year.
The company increased its dividend to 6.25 cents per share for shareholders on record as of July 21 for payments July 29.
Canada's largest convenience store chain is the second largest in North America. It has 5,795 convenience stores, 4,401 of which are corporate owned in 42 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and all the Canadian provinces.
The company employs 53,000 people.