Susser Sees Strong Second Quarter

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Susser Sees Strong Second Quarter

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Healthy sales at Susser Holdings Corp.'s retail stations lifted the company performance in the second quarter of 2007. Merchandise sales increased 11.8 percent to $105.9 million, compared to $94.7 million in the year ago period.

"Better-than-expected retail fuel margins and good gains in merchandise sales, both overall and on a same-store basis, drove these strong second quarter results," Sam L. Susser, Susser Holdings president and CEO, said in a written statement.

Merchandise sales from the company's convenience stores reached $105.9 million during the second quarter of 2007, an 11.8-percent increase overall and a 6.4 percent increase on a same-store basis. The company attributed sales growth to strong performance from the company's Laredo Taco Company restaurants, beer and snacks categories and from an increase in cigarette excise tax in Texas.

Adjusted net income before net interest expense, income taxes and depreciation, amortization and accretion increased 15.7 percent to $16.7 million, versus $14.4 million in the prior year's second quarter, the company stated. Net income jumped 67 percent to $6.3 million, compared to the $3.8 million seen in the comparable quarter.

In addition, total revenues increased 6.7 percent to $692.8 million, from $649.2 million in the same quarter of 2006. Gross profit also increased 8.2 percent to $64.6 million, compared with $59.7 million in the second quarter of 2006, the company reported.

"We also continue to see great customer response to the re-brandings of our convenience stores to our own Stripes brand and our fuel islands to the Valero brand, which we completed earlier in the year," Susser added.

During the second quarter of 2007, Susser opened five new large-format convenience stores, and closed one smaller store, resulting in 329 stores as of July 1, 2007. Outside of the quarter, the company opened one additional store for a total of eight new stores to date in fiscal 2007.

Meanwhile, seven stores are currently under construction, with three more scheduled to begin during third quarter, the company stated. Further, one store is under contract to be acquired and remodeled, according to the company.

An estimated 18 to 22 new stores are planned for 2007, all of which are expected to include a Laredo Taco Co. restaurant.

Concerning Susser's wholesale operations, the company added six new dealer sites and closed three during the second quarter, for a total of 374 operating dealer sites, the company stated. For the year to date, Susser added 12 dealer sites during the first half of 2007, and expects to add 25 to 35 new dealer sites overall.

The company's Laredo Taco Company quick-serve restaurant chain also saw continued strong performance. During the quarter, the company opened six new kitchens.