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    The Pantry Earns $19 Million for Its Fiscal Q3

    Earnings rose $1 million compared to same quarter last year thanks to two new programs.

    CARY, N.C. -- The Pantry Inc., well known in its hometown here and throughout the Southeast for its Kangaroo Express stores, earned $19 million in net income for its fiscal third quarter ending June 30. That bested by $1 million the $18-million profit it earned during the same quarter in 2010. Revenues rose 19 percent, compared to last year, to $2.26 billion.

    Company President and CEO Terrance M. Marks said the earnings were solid considering the "higher retail gas prices and a challenging employment picture across many of our key markets. While top-line results were soft, we did see improving traffic trends in June as a result of our Salute the Troops campaign," he said. "Importantly, we continued rolling out our Fresh Concept and are encouraged by the foodservice growth we experienced in completed stores."

    When Marks alluded to top-line results, he was referring to comparable store merchandise revenues in the third quarter decreasing 1.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

    In addition, merchandise gross margins dipped slightly to 34.0 percent from 34.2 percent during last year's fiscal third quarter. And fuel gross profit came in at $80.1 million for the latest quarter, a slight drop compared to fiscal third-quarter 2010's $80.4-million figure.

    On the positive side, not only did The Pantry increase its net earnings, the c-store chain saw its debt drop by $75 million to $1.03 billion compared to its 2011 fiscal second quarter.

    If not for one-time charges, The Pantry would have earned $21 million for its latest quarter. Analysts only look at that figure when calculating estimates. They expected The Pantry to earn $28 million for its latest quarter.

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