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    Sales Decline at Hess Convenience Stores

    The petroleum company's retail division reports a 6-percent decrease in Q2.

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News

    NEW YORK -- Hess Corp.'s convenience store sales suffered a 6-percent decline in its 2012 fiscal second quarter, compared to the same period a year ago, John B. Hess, chairman and CEO, said during the company's earnings conference call today.

    Hess earned revenues of $288 million at its c-stores for its latest quarter, ending June 30. The company earned $305 million in the same quarter last year.

    The chief executive cited the weak economy as the reason for the c-store sales decrease.

    For the first half of 2012, Hess' c-store revenues were also down. They came in at $560 million for the first six months of this year vs. $583 million during the same timeframe in 2011.

    As of June 30, Hess operated 1,361 convenience stores and gas stations -- an increase of five stores compared to June 30, 2011.

    As for overall earnings, Hess earned $549 million in net income in its 2012 fiscal second quarter, vs. $607 million during the company's 2011 fiscal second quarter.

    However, the $549 million figure was a larger profit than Wall Street analysts expected.

    "We're in the midpoint of a big change for Hess," the CEO said. "We began an exit from the refining business in 2009 and expect to complete that in 2014. We believe this portfolio reshaping is the right course for our company."

    He added that the company is currently selling several assets as part of its portfolio reshaping. He declined to mention specifics about the asset sales because they have not become official, but did say that the sales would let Hess focus on higher growth areas of its business and improve returns for shareholders.

    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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