7-Eleven Confident of Growth

7-Eleven Inc. said yesterday the global economic slowdown will not bite into its bottom-line, adding it is confident of continued expansion in the retail business.

The operator of nearly 5,700 convenience stores in the United States also said it's on track to open 2,000 stores a year worldwide, 7-Eleven's president and CEO James Keyes told Reuters in an interview.
He also brushed off worries that an economic slowdown in the U.S. and its impact on other economies would hurt profitability.

"In spite of the difficult economy, 7-Elevens in many areas continue to prosper. We find even in a good economy or bad economy, we are able to modify our product mix to meet the needs of the customers," Keyes told Reuters.

The company reported a first quarter loss of $7.5 million due to a one-time charge, without which the company had operating profits of $2.3 million. It had operating profits of $14.8 million in the January-March period last year.

The company said its current focus is to work on the existing licensing areas, adding it has no immediate plan to venture into new licensing markets. "Before we move to new license areas, we want to be very slow and deliberate in seeing through the continued revolution and success of the existing 7-Elevens," Keyes said.
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