Alon USA Retail Enjoys Record Quarter

DALLAS — Alon USA Energy Inc.'s retail division had a record 2014 fourth quarter, company President and CEO Paul Eisman said during Friday's earnings call.

"In the fourth quarter, the retail segment achieved record fuel sales volumes with good margins," the chief executive stated. "At the same time, we also saw record merchandise sales with improved margins. All of this resulted in record operating income for the quarter and the year."

Dallas-based Alon USA is the largest 7-Eleven licensee in the United States and operated 295 convenience stores in central and west Texas and New Mexico as of Dec. 31.

For its 2014 fourth quarter, the company sold 49.7 million fuel gallons, which averages out to 59,000 per site per month. Retail fuel margins rocketed by 9.4 cents per gallon to 27.6 cents per gallon.

Merchandise sales came in at slightly less than $81 million for Alon USA's fourth quarter, a gain of $4.7 million vs. the same period in 2013. Merchandise sales per site per month increased by $5,000 to $91,000, and merchandise margins improved slightly to 32.3 percent.

On a same-store basis, fuel sales rose 7 percent, while merchandise sales increased by nearly 6 percent.

When questioned by a Wall Street analyst during Friday's conference call, Eisman said he had no update yet regarding how well the retail division has performed in 2015. Nor did he comment about retail organic growth or potential mergers and acquisitions.

Overall, Alon USA earned net income of $6.7 million for its most recent quarter, compared to a loss of $14 million in the same period in 2013. For all of 2014, Alon USA achieved net profit of $38.5 million, $15.5 million more than it earned in the prior year.

"2014 was a very good year for the company," concluded Eisman.

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