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    Couche-Tard Rallies on Acquisitions

    Sales and profits improve as company expands in the U.S. market.

    LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard (ACT) yesterday said its profit and sales improved in the second quarter due to its expansion into the U.S. convenience store market.ACT, operator of more than 1,900 stores in the United States and Canada, said it earned $10 million, up 85 percent from approximately $6 million, in the year-earlier period.Sales rose 52 percent to $375 million from $190 million.The company said the May acquisition of 225 Johnson Oil Co. stores contributed to the results, as well as growth in same-store sales and higher margins on gasoline sales."We are highly confident about achieving solid growth over the next six months. Our new U.S. network is also providing a better balance between the first and the second half of the year. We are actively pursuing our development process in the Midwestern United States, where we aim to acquire small store networks matching our criteria," said Alain Bouchard, chairman, president and CEO of ACT.

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