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    Two C-store Companies Report Positive Financials

    APPCO gains parent company record earnings guidance, while Spartan Stores sees record quarter on strong comparable stores sales growth and additional fuel outlets.

    DALLAS -- Titan Global Holdings Inc., parent company to the 56-store convenience chain Appalachian Oil Co. (APPCO), expects its initial earnings for fiscal 2008 to range from $15 million to $17.5 million, as a direct result of its aggressive acquisition strategy, including the purchase of APPCO, the company said in a statement.

    In addition, the company stated its previously issued revenue guidance -- $747 million for fiscal year 2008 -- is expected to range from $735 million to $747 million. Contributing to the decrease in revenue were delays in the recent closing of Titan's APPCO acquisition.

    "Titan is poised for unprecedented revenue and earnings growth in fiscal 2008," Bryan Chance, president and CEO, said in a statement. "We are very focused on integrating and growing our newly formed Titan Energy Group and Total Global Brands."

    Titan formed Titan Global Energy to focus on the acquisition and management of complementary energy sector assets, which included the purchase of APPCO.

    "APPCO provides an ideal platform from which to make significant additional acquisitions," said Chance. "The revenue forecast for this division is based upon the status of APPCO's current operations and market conditions within the energy sector. Titan continues to work diligently with its supplier partners to introduce biofuels and other products to maintain a position of leadership in the markets that we serve."

    In other financial news, Spartan Stores Inc., the tenth largest grocery distributor and operator of more than 100 retail outlets including supermarkets, deep-discount food and drug stores and convenience stores, saw a six-year high in consolidated net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2008, at $627.1 million, a 13.5-percent increase, the company stated.

    The improvement was due to the acquisition of Felpausch Food Centers' stores -- which included two fuel centers and three convenience stores -- along with strong comparable store sales growth of 2.8 percent, excluding fuel sales; incremental distribution sales to Martin's Super Markets; and new distribution business, the company stated.

    "We are very pleased to continue our consistent record of sales and profit growth," Craig C. Sturken, Spartan Stores' chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. "Our strong sales growth and efficient operating cost structure led to a near 12 percent year-over-year increase in second-quarter operating earnings, marking another consecutive quarter of double-digit operating earnings growth. As we successfully execute the growth phase of our business strategy, we are capitalizing on market opportunities in both business segments that are producing the consistent sales and profit growth that we were anticipating."

    The quarter, ended Sept. 15, also saw net earnings from discontinued operations of $0.4 million, which included a $0.8 million pretax gain related to the previously announced closing of five Pharm retail stores and one c-store, and asset sales from those stores, the company stated.

    The company's retail segment saw second-quarter net sales increase 22.9 percent to $333.2 million, due primarily to incremental sales from the acquired Felpausch retail stores and strong comparable store sales growth, increasing 5.1 percent including fuel sales, according to the company.

    Strong comparable store sales growth was attributed to continued capital investments -- including store remodels, the opening of additional fuel centers and the PrairieStone Pharmacy acquisition. In addition, fuel center sales made up approximately 2.3 percentage points to the total comparable store sales increase, the company stated.

    "Our year-to-date performance has been better than anticipated, and we remain confident about our performance during the remainder of the fiscal year," said Sturken. "The sales performance of three recently remodeled D&W retail stores has exceeded our initial expectations. The D&W retail stores are developing into a premier consumer shopping destination in our markets and are surpassing our sales growth expectations."

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