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    Couche-Tard Profits Rise

    Expansion into the United States to continue.

    LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard (ACT) yesterday reported its second-quarter profit rose as it expanded its network of convenience stores in the United States.

    Couche-Tard said it earned $13 million in the quarter ended Oct 13, compared with $10.1 million in the same period last year. Sales improved 27 percent to $510.4 million, the company said.

    Couche-Tard, which has a network of more than 2,200 stores in Canada and the United States, said it wanted to continue its acquisition drive in the fragmented U.S. market. In the last year and half, the number of stores it operates in the United States had grown from zero to 545, while its share price has almost tripled.

    The brisk expansion in the United States, which includes some 630 c-stores acquired from Dairy Mart Convenience Stores Inc., Johnson Oil Co. and Miller Oil Co. elevated the company to eighth on the Convenience Store News list of the Top 50 Convenience Store Companies.

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