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    The Pantry Not Likely to Move Corporate HQ Until 2009

    CEO Sodini sees continued volatility in gas prices.

    RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Pantry President and CEO Peter Sodini that the fast-growing c-store chain is not likely to relocate its offices from Sanford, N.C., to the Cary-Apex area until early 2009, in an interview with The News & Observer here.

    "We've adapted the offices [in Sanford] we bought," Sodini told staff writer Sue Stock. "It will be Cary-Apex or somewhere in there. Looking at a scatter-gram of where people live, that's a reasonable amount to ask them to drive."

    The Pantry has been undergoing tremendous growth. In 2006, the retailer reported record sales of $6 billion, an increase of 35 percent from the previous year, while its net income grew by 54 percent to $89.2 million.

    "At year-end, we are clearly in the best position in the company's history," said Sodini at the company's annual meeting last Thursday in Cary, N.C. The company, which currently operates about 1,500 c-stores, bought 113 stores from smaller chains last year.

    In the interview, Sodini predicted little relief from the current volatile gas price situation.

    "If this little mess over in Iran gets settled quickly, we might see some stabilization," he told Stock. "But as long as the political picture is unstable, it puts a fear and speculative element into the market."

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