Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Couche-Tard shares hit high as profit climbs, dividend hiked

File photo of a man passing a Couche-Tard convenience store in Montreal.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. posted a 26.8-per-cent increase in second-quarter earnings on strong in-store revenue and gas volumes as well as the added results from recent acquisitions.

Laval, Que.-based Couche-Tard also announced on Tuesday a 14-per-cent increase in its quarterly dividend, to 10 cents (U.S.) from 8.75 cents.

The announcement sent Couche-Tard shares to a record high of more than $77 (Canadian) in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Story continues below advertisement

Second-quarter profit reached $229.8-million (U.S.) or $1.21 a share, up from $181.3-million or 97 cents in the year-earlier period.

Revenues, however, slipped 3 per cent to $9-billion from $9.3-billion as a result of the sale of the Liquid Petroleum Gas unit, currency translations and a reduced number of operating days in the quarter for Statoil Fuel & Retail of Norway.

On an adjusted basis, profit was $249-million or $1.32 a share compared with $171-million or 91 cents.

Analysts' consensus profit estimate for the second quarter was $1.22.

"The results for the second quarter were very strong and confirmed the trend from the first quarter, especially in Europe where our fuel brand 'miles' and our fresh food initiatives continued to deliver strong results," Couche-Tard president and chief executive officer Alain Bouchard said in a news release.

Same-store merchandise revenue in the second quarter rose 4.5 per cent in the U.S., 1.9 per cent in Europe and 3.2 per cent in Canada.

Same-store fuel volumes rose 1.7 per cent in the U.S., 2.2 per cent in Europe and 1.5 per cent in Canada.

Story continues below advertisement

Couche-Tard reiterated that it is on target to achieve annual synergies from the Statoil acquisition of between $150-million and $200-million before the end of December of 2015.

"They've put in some very strong underlying performances across all three geographies," said Greg Dean, an analyst and portfolio manager with Cambridge Global Asset Management.

"Their operating costs were actually down year over year," he added.

And same-store merchandise revenues in the U.S. were "outstanding" given the still fragile state of the economy, Mr. Dean said.

Couche-Tard operates more than 6,000 stores in North America and over 2,000 outlets in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Poland and Russia.

Banners include Mac's in Canada, Circle K in the U.S. and Statoil in Europe.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.