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ANKENY, IOWA -- Casey's General Stores Inc. today reported solid results for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 ended July 31, 2002.
"We're seeing positive results from implementing our strategies; we're optimistic we'll meet our annual goals for fiscal 2003," said Chairman Donald Lamberti.
Grocery and merchandise sales were up 9.9 percent at the 1,260 store chain to $182.4 million with an average margin of 31.1 percent. Gross profits for merchandise were up 3.7 percent versus the first quarter of 2002 to $56.6 million.
President and CEO Ronald Lamb said that while cigarette sales had continued to grow quickly at the chain, the products had negatively affected overall margins.
Prepared food and fountain sales were up 8.8 percent to $43.6 million with an average margin of 59.1 percent versus 54.9 percent for the same quarter last year. Prepared food margins were improved significantly by the lowered price of cheese.
Margins on gasoline have remained pressured at the chain; however, initiatives to balance growth in gallons sold with average margin per gallon have netted a slight improvement, from 9.5 cents per gallon during the first quarter of 2001 to 9.9 cents per gallon for the most recent quarter. Gallons sold were down 0.4 percent from 238.9 million to 237.9 million.
The chain will pay a quarterly dividend of 0.025 cents per share from diluted quarterly earnings of 0.25 cents per share.