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    Delek to Fast Track Large-Format Store Openings

    Chain will ramp up “mega store” construction in the fourth quarter.
     

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News

    BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- Delek US Holdings Inc. will significantly ramp up construction of its new large-format convenience stores in the fourth quarter, the company announced today during its 2013 third-quarter earnings call.

    Brentwood, Tenn.-based Delek -- operator of 362 convenience stores and gas stations under the MAPCO Express, MAPCO Mart, East Coast, Fast Food and Fuel, Favorite Markets, Delta Express and Discount Food Mart brand names -- opened six large-format convenience stores in the first nine months of this year. In the fourth quarter alone, an additional four to six large-format stores -- which the retailer refers to as "mega stores" -- are expected to open, the company stated.

    During today’s call, Uzi Yemin, Delek's chairman, president and CEO, also expressed optimism about the financial performance of the company's retail segment, which was one of the brightest spots in the latest quarter, which ended Sept. 30. The retail division earned $16.6 million in the third quarter, compared to an $11-million net profit during the same period in 2012.

    "The retail segment showed solid year-over-year improvement during the quarter," said Yemin.

    Fuel margins were particularly strong, increasing to 20.5 cents per gallon, a 6.6-cent increase year over year.

    Merchandise sales also rose to $102 million, a $2 million year-over-year improvement. Same-store merchandise sales saw a healthy 2.7-percent advancement. Merchandise margin percentage, however, dropped to 27.6 percent, a decline of 1 percent. Company leaders did not discuss possible reasons for this retrenchment.

    Companywide, Delek lost $1.7 million in its 2013 fiscal third quarter. That compares to a $94.5-million profit in the same period one year earlier. Declining profits in the company's refining segment were primarily cited for the earnings drop.

    Delek US Holdings Inc. maintained a net cash position of $59.2 million as of Sept.30. That compares to a net cash position of $155.9 million on June 30. Logistics asset purchases contributed to the cash position decrease.

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News
    • About Brian Berk Brian Berk is managing editor of Stagnito Business Information's Convenience Store News and Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner, where he specializes in covering motor fuels, technology and financial news. He has served the magazine industry for 14 years and has also worked in the radio and newspaper fields. Berk holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the State University of New York at Cortland and a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

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