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DALLAS - 7-Eleven, Inc., the nation's largest c-store chain, today reported that its first quarter core earnings, which exclude non-operating items, grew to $4.6 million or $0.04 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, 2003, versus $2.4 million or $0.02 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2002.
The company says the increase in its core earnings is primarily a result of both higher merchandise and gasoline gross profit. The company reported first quarter net earnings for 2003 of $5.0 million, or $0.05 per diluted share compared to a net loss in the first quarter 2002 of ($38.6) million, or ($0.37) per diluted share.
Total merchandise sales for the first quarter rose 7.1 percent to $1.7 billion as the company achieved a 4.5 percent increase in U.S. same-store merchandise sales for the quarter, on top of a 3.7 percent increase for the first quarter of 2002.
Contributors to the merchandise sales increase included the categories of fresh food, prepaid cards, beer, non-carbonated beverages and cigarettes.
"We are pleased with the ability to sustain strong merchandise sales and margins that exceed most of the convenience retailing industry. The 4.7 percent increase in March's same-store merchandise sales represents our 69th consecutive monthly increase," said Jim Keyes, 7-Eleven's president and chief executive officer. "The consistency of our sales results is an indication that our retailer initiative strategy is working. Our execution of this strategy has been facilitated by our investment in technology and emphasis on training."