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    Susser Posts Same-Store Sales Uptick

    Company also opened six new large-format Stripes stores in the second quarter.

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Despite facing some challenges during the second quarter, Susser Holdings Corp. did see some growth in its convenience store and fuel numbers.

    Susser Holdings and Susser Petroleum Partners LP are expected to report same-store merchandise sales increases of 2.2 percent for the second quarter and 3.2 percent in the first six months of 2013. In addition, retail average per-store fuel volume increased approximately 5.5 percent for the second quarter and 4.9 percent for the first six months of 2013.

    Susser Holdings and Susser Petroleum are scheduled to release their full second quarter financial and operating results on Aug. 7.

    According to Bonnie Herzog, managing director of tobacco, beverage and consumer research at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, the results are "impressive as Susser was facing a number of headwinds in the second quarter." Those included cooler weather, an Easter holiday shift to the first quarter vs. the second quarter in 2012 and a "tough" 8-percent comp in the same quarter last year, she said.

    Herzog also noted that the average per-store fuel volume growth has resulted in year-to-date growth of 4.9 percent -- above the company's yearly guidance of 1 to 4 percent. In total, she said Wells Fargo Securities is forecasting 5.2 percent for fiscal year 2013.

    "Though we remain cautious on fuel margin trends, we believe Susser's pre-released merchandise same-store sales and average per-store fuel volume growth suggest that Q2 traffic, merchandise and gas consumption trends for other c-store operators may not be as bad as feared," Herzog said.

    Financials aside, Susser Holdings opened six new large-format Stripes convenience stores during the second quarter and closed one smaller store. For the full year, the company has opened a total of 10 new stores and closed two. The company currently operates a total of 567 Stripes stores, of which 362 include a restaurant.

    In addition, a sale-leaseback transaction of two new stores was completed on June 17 for a total cost of $8 million. This latest sale by Susser Holdings to Susser Petroleum Partners brings the total number of new-build store sale-leasebacks to 20 since the initial public offering of units in the partnership in September at a cumulative cost, including final cost true-ups, of $81.5 million.

    Ten new contracted sites were added in the wholesale segment, and six sites were discontinued in the second quarter for a total of 583 contracted branded sites as of June 30, consisting of 95 consignment locations and 488 other independent branded dealer contracts.


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