Retail Divisions of Delek US, Global Partners Remain Strong

NATIONAL REPORT -- The second quarter spelled good news for industry-related companies and their retail divisions.

Delek US Holdings Inc. reported that it opened three new large-format MAPCO Express convenience stores during the second quarter, bringing its total to 59 out of the total 362 stores in its portfolio.

"We continue to focus on our initiative of building large-format stores," officials stated Thursday during the company's second-quarter financial earnings call. The company's goal is to open four to six more such locations during the remainder of 2014.

Additionally, Delek's retail division earned $6.5 million during the quarter, and its segment contribution margin improved year over year thanks to stronger merchandise sales and higher volume of fuel sold. Merchandise sales increased from $100.3 million to $103.7 million, while fuel gallons sold rose from 107.8 million to 109.4 million.

Delek also increased its share repurchase program to $100 million from $50 million.

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Delek US operates convenience stores and gas stations under the MAPCO Express, MAPCO Mart, East Coast, Fast Food and Fuel, Favorite Markets, Delta Express and Discount Food Mart banners.

Global Partners' Silver Lining

With a reported net loss of $12.7 million in its 2014 fiscal second quarter, Global Partners dealt with challenges in the gasoline market. However, the company continues to benefit from its focus on new-to-industry and organic projects, including its raze-and-rebuild program and site enhancements.

While combined product margin also declined $4.2 million year over year to $102.9 million, increases in the gasoline distribution and station operations (GDSO) segment partially offset a decline in the company's wholesale segment. 

"We are pleased with our overall operational progress and financial performance through the first half of 2014," President and CEO Eric Slifka told investors during the company's earnings call on Thursday.

The silver lining for the company has been its retail segment as it continues to expand its co-branding initiatives and foodservice offerings through its Alltown stores, as CSNews Online previously reported.

"During the second quarter, we rebranded approximately 30 locations and benefited from the addition of 11 new stores we began operating during the first quarter," the chief executive added.

The GDSO segment generated a second-quarter product margin of $62.6 million, which was $3.8 million higher than the year-ago period due to increased contributions from station operations, including convenience store sales and rental income from leased stations. New or rebuilt locations "were key contributors to this increase," said Chief Financial Officer Daphne Foster. 

Sales for the GDSO segment were $935.4 million vs. $870.4 million for Q2 2013.

While fuel product margin was in line with the year-ago period, both quarters were negatively impacted by increasing prices, the company reported.

Global Partners also reported increased expenses compared to the year-ago period which reflect, in part, costs related to new retail locations and recently renovated sites.

As for capital expenditures, "notable expansion projects include investments in our retail gas station assets, including our continued effort on the Connecticut Turnpike and unitary lease sites in New York," Foster said.

Waltham, Mass.-based Global Partners currently operates more than 900 convenience stores under the Alltown, Fast Freddie's and Mr. Mike's banners in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.


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