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    Casey's Earnings Improve

    Despite slimmer margins on gasoline, Iowa chain reports earnings that met or surpassed corporate goals.

    ANKENY, Iowa --The company succeeded in growing its gasoline volume by over 18 percent in the second quarter to over 240 million gallons while maintaining an average margin of 10.2 cents.Although Chairman Donald Lamberti complained that these margins were more than two cents lower than last year, he credited the company's 15 percent increase on in store sales to the more attractive gasoline prices and greater pay-at-the-pump availability throughout the chain. The chain has sold $412.1 million of grocery, merchandise, and prepared food and fountain for the year to date on an average margin of 37.5 percent.CEO Ronald Lamb elaborated on the chain's success, explaining that sales of seasonal and specialty items, as well as a renewed focus on prepared food and fountain sales had helped Casey's draw more traffic into their stores.The chain's goals for 2002 include keeping expenses below 14 percent of sales and allowing them to grow no faster than total gross profit.

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