ANKENY, Iowa — As customer traffic ticks back up, Casey's General Stores Inc. reported the highest quarterly adjusted EBITDA in the company's history for the first quarter of its 2022 fiscal year.
During an earnings call on Sept. 8, Casey's President and CEO Darren Rebelez reported that the company's adjusted EBITDA was $243.2 million, and a rebound in customer traffic drove "an all-time-high gross profit dollar quarter for the company."
Looking closer at the numbers, inside same-store sales were up 8 percent for the first quarter, with an average margin of 40.5 percent.
"Grab-and-go items such as pizza slices, packaged beverages and snacks were up significantly throughout the quarter as guest traffic improved," Rebelez pointed out.
Same-store grocery and general merchandise sales were up 7 percent and the average margin was 33 percent, compared to 32.2 percent for the same period a year ago. The chief executive noted that store resets completed toward the end of its 2020 fiscal year continue to significantly benefit this category.
Within the category, packaged beverages achieved a two-year stack same-store sales growth of 17.6 percent, while alcohol sales achieved a 20.2 percent two-year stack.
"Gross profit margin improved due in part to our strategic sourcing efforts from our centralized procurement team," Rebelez said. "This category also benefits from our private label effort as we exited the quarter with a 4.4-percent penetration rate for the grocery and general merchandise category."
As for same-store prepared food and dispensed beverage sales, they were up 10.8 percent and the average margin for the quarter was 61 percent, vs. 59.7 percent a year ago.
"Sales were up double digits in bakery items and dispensed beverages," he said. "Pizza slices were the star of the show, up close to 29 percent in the quarter."
Moving to the forecourt, same-store fuel gallons sold during the quarter were up 9 percent, and fuel margin was 35.1 cents per gallon.
Overall Q1 FY22 Financials
Total revenue for the quarter was nearly $3.2 billion, an increase of $1.1 billion from the prior year. This number was primarily driven by an $881-million increase in retail fuel sales, as well as a 21.5-percent increase in total gallons sold to 667.5 million gallons, and a 49-percent increase in the average retail price per gallon.
Total inside sales rose 14 percent to $1.1 billion. Total grocery and general merchandise sales rose by $104 million to $835.5 million, an increase of 14 percent. Total prepared food and dispensed beverage sales increased by approximately $38 million to $308.4 million, also an improvement of 14 percent.
The quarter's numbers were favorably impacted by Casey's operating roughly 7.5 percent more stores on a year-over-year basis, Chief Financial Officer Steve Bramlage said.
Year to date, Casey's has opened 142 stores, including three new store openings; 137 stores acquired from its Buchanan Energy and Circle K acquisitions; and two independent acquisitions.
Casey's also reported gross profit of $723.9 million for the quarter — an increase of more than $100 million from the prior year.
"This represents the highest quarterly gross profit in Casey's history. It is primarily attributable to higher inside gross profit of $66.3 million, or nearly 17 percent, as well as an increase of $24.4 million, or 11.6 percent, in fuel gross profit," Bramlage explained.
Broken out, that number included a $39.8-million increase in grocery and general merchandise gross profit, and a $26.5-million increase in prepared food and dispensed beverage gross profit.
Based in Ankeny, Casey's General Stores operated 2,380 convenience stores at the end of the quarter on July 31.