Alimentation Couche-Tard profit misses on higher costs

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk past a Couche-Tard convenience store in Montreal, April 18, 2012. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

(Reuters) - Convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc’s quarterly profit fell short of analysts’ estimates on Tuesday as higher costs offset a rise in fuel sales.

Revenue from the Canadian company’s fuel retail business, its biggest, rose 3.4 percent to about $12 billion, but operating, selling, administrative and general expenses surged nearly 7 percent to about $1.7 billion.

Couche-Tard has more than 8,000 outlets in the United States.

The company has been expanding its gasoline and convenience stores business with new acquisitions including CST Brands and Holiday Stationstores, a 522-store chain of gas stations and convenience outlets in the United States.

Couche-Tard’s same-store fuel volumes rose 0.8 percent in the United States, its biggest market, while same-store merchandise revenue was up 4.5 percent.

Revenue from merchandise and services business rose nearly 9 percent to $4.2 billion in the third quarter.

Net income attributable to shareholders rose to $612.1 million, or $1.08 per share, in the third quarter, from $482.4 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.08 per share, missing analysts’ average estimate of $1.17 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total revenue rose to $16.52 billion from $15.79 billion.

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber