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    Susser Holdings Fast Tracking New Store Openings

    The operator of Stripes c-stores reports record earnings for its second quarter 2011.

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Susser Holdings Corp. has fast tracked new store construction and openings on the heels of strong financial results over its last few quarters. During a conference call this morning to discuss its second-quarter earnings, company executives said the chain opened six Stripes stores during the quarter, and another three thus far in its third quarter, which began on July 4.

    An additional six stores are currently under construction, and the company plans to begin construction on another seven to nine new locations later this year, it revealed. Susser expects to open a total of 19 to 21 new retail sites this year.

    Sam L. Susser, the company's president and CEO, said the convenience retailer was not ready to discuss specific 2012 growth goals at this time. "I can say we've been actively growing our land bank and we are prepared to build at the same or greater rate next year, assuming economic conditions remain positive in our markets," he said during the call.

    Susser Holdings announced record earnings for its second quarter. It earned a net profit of $23.7 million and nearly $1.4 billion in revenues. That compares to Susser's 2010 second quarter, when it lost $1.9 million on revenues of $1.01 billion.

    The operator of 532 Stripes c-stores attributed the record quarter in part due to a 42.3-percent increase in combined fuel revenues and an 8.7-percent increase in overall merchandise sales.

    "I'm proud to report the second quarter of 2011 was our best quarter ever," Susser commented. "We set a number of new quarterly records, including total revenues, merchandise sales, gross profit, EBITDA, excellent performance from our merchandise and food business, and unusually strong fuel margins…along with the contributions from the 22 new stores we opened in the past 18 months. Our new stores are twice as big, and when mature, produce on average three times the cash flow of legacy stores."

    The chain, operating in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, also noted that extremely hot and dry weather has been great for merchandise sales and margins. Susser also said the company continues to grab market share from competitors.

    "We continue to take market share in categories such as beer, cigarettes and multi-pack take-home soda," the CEO said. "Many of these items produce below-average margins. However, purchases made in the basket with these low-margin core products are high-margin foodservice purchases."

    Susser's earnings easily topped Wall Street estimates. Analysts expected the company to earn about $13 million for the quarter.

    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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