Northern Tier Advances 'Integrated' Store Footprint


TEMPE, Ariz. — Northern Tier Energy LP continues to make progress on its plan to build up its portfolio through new SuperAmerica company-owned stores and franchise locations.

During the company's second-quarter 2015 earnings call Tuesday, Northern Tier CEO David Lamp said construction is underway on one new company-owned SuperAmerica convenience store, with work set to begin shortly on two more. Northern Tier's board of directors has also given the go-ahead for two additional new company-owned stores, which will begin construction later this year. 

According to Lamp, the timeline calls for four of these new stores to open by the end of this year, with the fifth opening its doors in early 2016.

For its second quarter, Northern Tier's retail segment reported operating income of $4.6 million — excluding the lower of cost or market (LCM) adjustment — compared to operating income of $5 million for the second quarter of 2014.

Fuel margins were 22 cents per gallon for the latest quarter, compared to 19 cents per gallon for the prior-year period. 

The aggregate of fuel gallons sold at company-operated stores plus fuel gallons sold to franchise stores increased 10.9 percent for the quarter, ended June 30, compared to second-quarter 2014. The fuel-gallons-sold figure benefited from 10 new SuperAmerica franchise locations coming onboard since the start of the year, Lamp explained. 

"We are pleased with our franchise growth, which we consider an indication of the strength of the SuperAmerica brand," the chief executive said.

The number of franchise locations totaled 99 as of June 30 compared to 81 as of June 30, 2014, according to the company's earnings release.

Northern Tier will continue the "expansion of our integrated retail footprint with the construction of new stores and adding additional franchise locations," Lamp concluded. 

Northern Tier is a Tempe-based master limited partnership that operates approximately 165 convenience stores and supports approximately 99 franchised convenience stores, primarily in Minnesota and Wisconsin, under the SuperAmerica trademark. The company also owns a bakery and commissary under the SuperMom's brand.

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