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EL PASO, Texas -- Western Refining Inc.'s retail division continues to operate on a steady basis, with sales and earnings mostly remaining flat, but strong, on a year-over-year basis.
The El Paso, Texas-based operator of 222 convenience stores and gas stations under the GIANT, Mustang, Sundial and Howdy's banners, achieved net sales of $321 million in its fiscal third quarter, ended Sept. 30. The company had sales of $322 million during the same period in 2012.
Operating income increased to $5.4 million from $4.7 million during Western Refining's latest quarter. Also on the rise were fuel gallons sold and fuel margins, which increased 2 cents to 22 cents per gallon.
Western Refining's management did not focus on its retail division in today's conference call. Instead, its spinoff of master limited partnership Western Refining Logistics LP (WNRL) earlier this month took center stage.
"It's an exciting time at Western. WNRL was very well received," said Western Refining President and CEO Jeff Stevens. "We raised $325 million in the IPO [initial public offering], of which we retained $245 million."
The remaining $80 million will be used to grow WNRL's business.
Overall, Western Refining reported net income of $29.6 million in its latest quarter, compared to $105.2 million during the same period one year ago. Lower refining margins were cited for the profit decrease.
"It was another profitable quarter for Western," Stevens concluded. "In the fourth quarter, we are seeing improved refining margins."