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    SuperAmerica Seeks Bigger Store Count

    Construction is underway to build new stores.

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News

    TEMPE, Ariz. — Northern Tier Energy LP will look to add both company-operated SuperAmerica and franchised convenience store locations in the near-term, President and CEO Dave Lamp stated during Tuesday's 2014 fiscal third-quarter earnings call.

    Lamp did not discuss how many SuperAmerica and franchised locations the Tempe-based master limited partnership (MLP) plans to add short term. But he did note that construction projects are already underway to build new stores.

    Northern Tier currently operates 165 SuperAmerica c-stores, primarily in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The MLP also supports 82 franchised locations.

    "Operating performance was solid," Lamp said during the call regarding third-quarter results for Northern Tier's retail division. In its latest quarter ended Sept. 30, retail operating income rose to $5.8 million, compared to $4.4 million in its 2013 third quarter.

    A main driver was fuel gallons sold at company-operated and franchised operations combined, which rose 2 percent year over year to 99 million gallons. Fuel margin per gallon increased by a penny to 20 cents per gallon.

    Merchandise sales at SuperAmerica were another strong point, rising $900,000 to $95.7 million. Merchandise margins rose 0.9 percent to 25.7 percent during the latest quarter.

    Total company profits were an even more impressive story, improving more than threefold to $96.2 million, vs. $27.2 million in the year-ago period.

    "We had a very strong quarter in which we safely achieved our highest-ever quarterly throughput," said Lamp. "Advantaged crude oil prices, solid margins and an improved capture rate enabled us to deliver the largest quarterly distributions to our investors in more than a year."

    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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