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    Remodels Pay Off for Alon Energy's Retail Division

    Retail fuel sales reach company record.

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News

    DALLAS -- Remodeling its stores has paid off for Alon USA Energy Inc.

    The Dallas-based company has remodeled 34 of its convenience stores and gas stations in its fiscal 2013 thus far and the results have been excellent, President and CEO Paul Eisman said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call today.

    Remodeling led Alon's retail division to show increases across almost its entire board, he added. Net sales, operating income, retail fuel sales and merchandise sales all improved in its latest quarter vs. 2012's second quarter.

    Breaking down into specifics, Alon achieved net sales of $244 million at its retail division in its latest quarter, compared to $232 million in the year-ago period. Operating income rose to $7.7 million vs. $7.6 million, retail fuel sales improved to a company record $47 million vs. $41 million and merchandise sales increased to $83 million, compared to $82 million.

    "I was especially impressed with our retail division considering we operated two fewer stores than last year," said Eisman, referring to the fact that Alon had 298 c-stores as of June 30, compared to 300 on the same date one year earlier.

    One item on the other side of the ledger was merchandise margin, which dropped 1.3 percent to 31.6 percent.

    Companywide, Alon's earnings dropped to $20 million in its second quarter. The company achieved a $45-million profit in its 2012 second quarter.

    "The market was volatile in the second quarter," the chief executive said. "Crude oil differentials were the main reason for the difference in earnings. I'm very optimistic about the future of the company."

    To back up Eisman's comments, Alon announced it will maintain a 6-cent-per-share dividend, which it will pay on Sept. 19.

    Alon USA Energy Inc. is the largest 7-Eleven Inc. licensee in the United States and operates convenience stores in Texas and New Mexico.

    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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