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Casey’s sees impacts of COVID and weather

ANKENY — The Ankeny-based Casey’s convenience store chain saw a profit in the third quarter despite ongoing impacts on traffic from the pandemic.

Chief Financial Officer Steve Bramlage gave an update this week in a conference call with investors. ┬áTotal revenue for the quarter was two BILLION dollars — a decline of 240 million dollars — or 11 percent from the previous quarter,” Bramlage says. “This was due to the decline in retail sales of fuel of approximately 275 million dollars. Driven by the lower number of gallons sold and the lower retail price of fuel.”

But, he says the company still saw a third-quarter profit of 540 million dollars. That’s an increase of over 43 million dollars from the prior year. This is primarily attributed to higher gross fuel profit — offset by a decline of five million dollars of prepared food and fountain gross profit,” he says.

While the number of people visiting the stores is off due to COVID, online sales have continued to increase. The company also reports that the sales of recently launched company branded products have done better than expected.

Company CEO Darren Rebelez reported the fourth quarter got off to a rocky start due to winter weather. Our quarter to date year-over-year same-store fuel gallons sold are trending down mid-teens. Fuel margins remain favorable, and are trending around 30 cents per gallon currently,” according to Rebelez. “Inside sales quarter to date are down low single digits The prepared food category is under the most pressure and is trending down in the low double digits.”

Rebelez says the severe conditions kept people home. “It was a tough November, about double the amount of normal snowfall. Negative 20’s before windchill. Frankly, nobody wanted to get in their car and go anywhere,” Rebelez says. “We’ve seen that reversed once the weather broke.”

Bramlage says the nicer weather has already started to improve sales and he says as pandemic restrictions lift – the fourth quarter has good potential to best last year. “It’ll be a tale of two cities in the quarters,” he says.

The company had two-thousand-229 stores at the end of January and is currently constructing 23 new stores.

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