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Mar 20, 2018

Couche-Tard hit by lower gas margins, higher expenses in Q3

Couche-Tard shares feel the pressure after Q3 results

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Convenience stores operator Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATDb.TO) on Tuesday reported a 38.3 per cent rise in third-quarter revenue, benefiting from recent acquisitions and higher sales from the United States, its biggest market.

However, the company reported a profit that missed expectations in its third quarter as lower gasoline margins and higher acquisition costs took a toll on its bottom line.

The owner of the Circle K chain of stores said net income rose to US$463.9 million, or 82 cents per share, in the quarter ended Feb. 4, from US$287 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.

Road transport and fuel revenue from United States rose 51.3 per cent to US$7.29 billion, while merchandise and service revenue rose 28.3 per cent to US$2.8 billion.

The company, which has been expanding through acquisitions, said it completed the $1.6 billion purchase of Holiday Station stores during the quarter.

This is expected to add US$50 million to US$60 million in savings for Couche-Tard over the next three years, the company said.

Gas retail and convenience stores like Couche-Tard have been facing competition from fast food chains and supermarkets across the United States and Canada that sell similar products at cheaper rates, triggering consolidation among store operators.

Couche-Tard closed its biggest ever deal - the US$4.4 billion purchase of U.S. company CST Brands - in June 2017. From the deal, the company said, it expects cost benefit of US$215 million over the next three years.

The company booked a tax gain of 196.3 million in the quarter due to the changes in the U.S. tax law. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 54 cents per share.

Total revenue jumped to US$15.79 billion from US$11.42 billion.

-- With files from BNN