Town & Country Boosts Susser Profits

Corpus Christi, Texas-based Susser Holdings Corp., owner of Stripes convenience stores, credited its acquisition of 168 Town & Country stores for record year-end revenues.

The company reported on Wednesday net income of $7.5 million in the fourth quarter compared with a net loss of $10.9 million for the same quarter last year. The company also reported that its total fourth quarter 2007 merchandise sales increased 54%. Merchandise sales totals in the fourth quarter of 2007 were $136.7 million, compared with $88.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. The fourth quarter 2007 results include seven weeks of performance by the 168 acquired stores that weren’t on the books in 2006.

Sam Susser, president and chief executive officer, said he was pleased with the company’s results in 2007. "We saw very strong gains in our merchandise segment and higher-than-average retail fuel margins for the year," he said in a prepared statement. The Town & Country Food Stores acquisition "gave us a leadership position in attractive markets in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico as well as opportunities to realize operating leverage and cost synergies across the combined companies."

Susser said same-store sales growth from Stripes stores was the highest the company has seen in eight years. Total revenues increased 68.6% to a record $821.9 million from $487.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Gross profit for the fourth quarter, including the partial quarter’s contribution from Town & Country, increased 61.6% to a record $77.7 million, compared with $48.1 million for the same quarter last year.

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