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FINDLAY, Ohio – Speedway LLC, the retail division of Marathon Petroleum Corp., saw its same-store merchandise sales increase for the 15th consecutive year in 2012. The chain also strengthened its presence in key marketing areas, while achieving record segment income and earnings per store, company executives reported during an earnings call today.
The total number of Speedway convenience stores increased by approximately 7 percent in 2012 through the purchase of 97 GasAmerica and Road Ranger c-stores in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, The retailer now operates roughly 1,460 locations.
"We continue to invest in this channel of distribution, which provides assured sales of gasoline manufactured at our refineries and has generated stable cash flow from food and merchandise sales," Marathon Petroleum President and CEO Gary Heminger stated during the conference call.
Overall, Marathon Petroleum saw a better fourth quarter in 2012 compared to a year ago, reporting earnings of $755 million, a significant improvement over the loss of $75 million during Q4 2011. For the full year, Marathon's earnings were $3.39 billion, an increase from 2011's $2.39 billion.
Heminger credited the initial public offering of MPLX LP, its master limited partnership (MLP) spinoff that netted $438 million in proceeds after its October debut, as the most significant event of the year. "We believe we have created a premiere MLP," the chief executive said, adding that MPLX will be the company’s primary vehicle to grow its midstream business.
In addition to MPLX, other major investments that Marathon Petroleum will remain focused on in 2013 include its acquisition of BP's Texas City refinery, which it plans to complete on Feb. 1; the Detroit Heavy Oil Upgrade Project (DHOUP), which added new equipment to allow Michigan's only refinery to process additional heavy crude oils and was completed on time and on budget; and additional Speedway acquisitions.
"Marathon Petroleum Corp.'s commitment to safety, operational excellence and strong financial performance enabled us to continue to enhance shareholder value through strategic investments in the business and return of capital to our investors," Heminger said. "We will continue to drive value by making carefully considered investments that position us to take advantage of evolving crude oil and product opportunities, along with a consistent and focused return of capital to our shareholders."