Alimentation Couche-Tard's fiscal Q1 net earnings up to US$872.4M from US$764.4M last year; total merchandise, service revenues up 0.1% to US$4.07B as same-store merchandise revenues down 1.3% in Canada, up 3.5% in US, up 2.8% in Europe, other regions

Sample article from our Retail & Omnichannel

August 31, 2022 (press release) –


  • Net earnings were $872.4 million, or $0.85 per diluted share for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 compared with $764.4 million, or $0.71 per diluted share for the first quarter of fiscal 2022. Adjusted net earnings1 were approximately $875.0 million compared with $758.0 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2022. Adjusted diluted net earnings per sharewere $0.85, representing an increase of 19.7% from $0.71 for the corresponding quarter of last year.

  • Total merchandise and service revenues of $4.1 billion, an increase of 0.1%. Same-store merchandise revenues increased by 3.5% in the United States, by 2.8% in Europe and other regions1, and decreased by 1.3% in Canada.

  • Merchandise and service gross margin1 decreased by 0.3% in the United States to 33.9%, and increased by 0.5% in Europe and other regions to 38.9%, and by 0.8% in Canada to 33.1%.

  • Same-store road transportation fuel volumes decreased by 4.0% in the United States, by 3.7% in Europe and other regions, and increased by 0.4% in Canada.

  • Road transportation fuel gross margin1 of 49.00¢ per gallon in the United States, an increase of 12.25¢ per gallon, US 12.26¢ per liter in Europe and other regions, an increase of US 1.94¢ per liter, and CA 14.04¢ per liter in Canada, an increase of CA 3.12¢ per liter. Fuel margins remained healthy throughout the network, due to favorable market conditions and the continued work on the optimization of the supply chain.

  • Despite the growth in expenses of 9.4%, the Corporation has deployed strategic efforts to mitigate costs increases and inflationary pressures, which is demonstrated by the normalized growth of expensesof 7.3%, remaining below inflation.

  • Sequential improvement of the leverage ratio1 at 1.31 : 1, and of the return on capital employed1 at 15.9%, both driven by strong earnings.

  • On April 22, 2022, the Corporation renewed its share repurchase program which allows it to repurchase up to 10.0% of the public float. Under the renewed program, shares for a net amount of $478.0 million were repurchased during the quarter.

  • On August 30, 2022, subsequent to the end of the quarter, the Corporation also announces that, following satisfaction of closing conditions, it has closed its proposed acquisition of Cape D'Or Holdings Limited, Barrington Terminals Limited and other related holding entities in Atlantic Canada.

 

 

Please refer to the "Non-IFRS Measures" section for additional information on performance measures not defined by IFRS.

LAVAL, QC, Aug. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ - For its first quarter ended July 17, 2022, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. ("Couche-Tard" or the "Corporation") (TSX: ATD) announces net earnings of $872.4 million, representing $0.85 per share on a diluted basis. The results for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 were affected by pre-tax acquisition costs of $1.2 million, as well as by a pre-tax net foreign exchange loss of $1.0 million. The results for the comparable quarter of fiscal 2022 were affected by a pre-tax net foreign exchange gain of $8.6 million as well as by pre-tax acquisition costs of $0.8 million. Excluding these items, the adjusted net earnings1 were approximately $875.0 million, or $0.85 per share on a diluted basis for the first quarter of fiscal 2023, compared with $758.0 million, or $0.71 per share on a diluted basis for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, an increase of 19.7% in the adjusted diluted net earnings per share1, driven by higher road transportation fuel gross margins1, by organic growth in the convenience activities, as well as by the favorable impact of the share repurchase program, partly offset by higher expenses. All financial information presented is in US dollars unless stated otherwise.

"In the face of continued and historic inflationary conditions and high fuel prices, we are pleased to report strong results this quarter, especially in convenience where we had healthy same stores sales in our U.S. market. We also continued to generate robust fuel margins across all of our platforms. In this period of high inflation and high prices, we remain focused on delivering a strong and consistent value to our customers and on maintaining cost discipline in our operations," said Brian Hannasch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alimentation Couche-Tard.

"We are proud of the progress we made this quarter in our vision to become the world's preferred destination in convenience and mobility. With our Fresh Food, Fast priority, we are hitting key targets in site numbers and seeing very strong growth in our private label brands as consumers look for value. To enhance the customer experience at our locations, we are progressing with the roll out of our innovative, easy-to-use, smart checkout technology after announcing plans to deploy 10,000 units in 7,000 stores during the next three years. Also, after a year of record organic growth in store builds, we added 30 more new sites this quarter," concluded Brian Hannasch.

Claude Tessier, Chief Financial Officer, added: "We delivered another impressive quarter highlighted by increases of 10.6% in adjusted EBITDA1 and 19.7% in adjusted diluted net earnings per share2 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2022, bringing our last four quarters adjusted EBITDA1 to more than $5.4 billion. Our customary cost discipline, combined with an improving labor market, have allowed us to limit the normalized growth of expenses1 to 7.3%, compared to the first quarter of last year, more than 1% below inflation, which was particularly notable once again this quarter. Our financial position remains strong, highlighted by our leverage ratio1 of 1.31, providing us with opportunities for the future. I am especially proud of our teams' execution this quarter which resulted in sequential improvements on both of our key return metrics."

 

 

Please refer to the "Non-IFRS Measures" section for additional information on performance measures not defined by IFRS.

 

Significant Items of the First Quarter of Fiscal 2023 

  • On April 22, 2022, the Toronto Stock Exchange approved the renewal of our share repurchase program, which took effect on April 26, 2022. The renewed share repurchase program allows us to repurchase up to 79,703,614 shares, representing 10.0% of the shares comprising the public float as at April 20, 2022, and the share repurchase period will end no later than April 25, 2023. During the first quarter of fiscal 2023, we repurchased 10,940,400 shares, for an amount of $478.0 million.

  • On May 9, 2022, we established a commercial paper program in the United States on a private placement basis. The commercial paper program allows us to issue, at our discretion, unsecured commercial paper notes with maturities not exceeding 397 days. The aggregate principal amount of unsecured commercial paper notes outstanding at any one time cannot exceed $2.5 billion and our term revolving unsecured operating credit facility serves as a liquidity backstop for the repayment of the unsecured commercial paper notes. As at July 17, 2022, there were no outstanding unsecured commercial paper notes.

  • On April 28, 2022, we exercised the Series B common share warrants in Fire & Flower for a total consideration of CA $37.8 million ($29.5 million), which increased our interests in Fire & Flower to 35.3%.

Changes in our Network during the First Quarter of Fiscal 2023

  • We acquired one company-operated store since the beginning of the first quarter of fiscal 2023.

  • We completed the construction of 23 stores and the relocation or reconstruction of 7 stores, reaching a total of 30 stores since the beginning of fiscal 2023. As of July 17, 2022, another 54 stores were under construction and should open in the upcoming quarters.

  • During the first quarter of fiscal 2023, we invested an amount of $30.1 million in a joint venture with Musket Corporation, which then acquired four road transportation fuel terminals located in Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina, United States.

  • On August 30, 2022, subsequent to the end of the quarter, we announce that, following satisfaction of closing conditions, we have closed our proposed acquisition of all the issued and outstanding shares of Cape D'Or Holdings Limited, Barrington Terminals Limited, and other related holding entities which operate an independent convenience store and fuel network in Atlantic Canada under the Esso, Go! Store and Wilsons Gas Stops brands (collectively "Wilsons"). The Wilsons network comprises 79 company-owned and operated convenience retail and fuel locations, 2 company-owned and dealeroperated locations, 137 dealer-owned and operated locations, and a fuel terminal in Halifax, Canada. The transaction was settled for a consideration, subject to post-closing adjustments including debt repayment, of CA $346.8 million ($265.9 million), using available cash. In connection with obtaining the Competition Bureau (Canada) approval for the transaction, we entered into a consent agreement with the Commissioner of Competition to divest 34 company-owned and operated convenience retail and fuel locations, 1 company-owned and dealer-operated location, and 12 dealer-owned and operated locations in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Summary of changes in our store network

The following table presents certain information regarding changes in our store network over the 12‑week period ended July 17, 2022:

 

12‑week period ended July 17, 2022

Type of site

Company-operated

 

CODO

 

DODO

 

Franchised and

 other affiliated

 

Total

Number of sites, beginning of period

9,808

 

370

 

713

 

1,275

 

12,166

Acquisitions

1

 

 

 

 

1

Openings / constructions / additions

23

 

2

 

1

 

24

 

50

Closures / disposals / withdrawals

(41)

 

(2)

 

(7)

 

(10)

 

(60)

Store conversions

5

 

(1)

 

(9)

 

5

 

Number of sites, end of period

9,796

 

369

 

698

 

1,294

 

12,157

Circle K branded sites under licensing agreements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,905

Total network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14,062

Number of automated fuel stations included in the period-end

   figures

979

 

 

1

 

 

980

Exchange Rate Data

We use the US dollar as our reporting currency, which provides more relevant information given the predominance of our operations in the United States.

The following table sets forth information about exchange rates based upon closing rates expressed as US dollars per comparative currency unit:

 

12‑week periods ended

 

July 17, 2022

July 18, 2021

Average for the period(1)

 

 

Canadian dollar

0.7778

0.8167

Norwegian krone

0.1031

0.1188

Swedish krone

0.0995

0.1187

Danish krone

0.1412

0.1620

Zloty

0.2248

0.2662

Euro

1.0503

1.2044

Ruble

Not Applicable

0.0136

Hong Kong dollar

0.1274

0.1288

(1)     Calculated by taking the average of the closing exchange rates of each day in the applicable period.

For the analysis of consolidated results, the impact of the translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars is defined as the impact from the translation of our Canadian, European and Asian operations into US dollars. Variances of our foreign currency operations into US dollars are determined as being the difference between the corresponding period results in local currencies translated at the current period average exchange rate and the corresponding period results in local currencies translated at the corresponding period average exchange rate.

Summary Analysis of Consolidated Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal 2023

The following table highlights certain information regarding our operations for the 12-week periods ended July 17, 2022, and July 18, 2021, and the results analysis in this section should be read in conjunction with this table. Europe and other regions include the results from our operations in Asia.

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars, unless otherwise stated)

July 17,

2022

July 18,

2021

Variation

%

Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

Merchandise and service revenues(1):

 

 

 

United States

2,904.9

2,829.4

2.7

Europe and other regions

537.1

561.4

(4.3)

Canada

630.5

677.2

(6.9)

Total merchandise and service revenues

4,072.5

4,068.0

0.1

Road transportation fuel revenues:

 

 

 

United States

9,681.4

6,463.7

49.8

Europe and other regions

2,975.9

1,793.6

65.9

Canada

1,661.8

1,137.9

46.0

Total road transportation fuel revenues

14,319.1

9,395.2

52.4

Other revenues(2):

 

 

 

United States

9.7

10.8

(10.2)

Europe and other regions

250.5

100.0

150.5

Canada

5.9

4.9

20.4

Total other revenues

266.1

115.7

130.0

Total revenues

18,657.7

13,578.9

37.4

Merchandise and service gross profit(1)(3):

 

 

 

United States

985.3

967.7

1.8

Europe and other regions

208.7

215.4

(3.1)

Canada

208.9

219.0

(4.6)

Total merchandise and service gross profit

1,402.9

1,402.1

0.1

Road transportation fuel gross profit(3):

 

 

 

United States

1,031.4

804.8

28.2

Europe and other regions

280.7

246.7

13.8

Canada

132.4

108.0

22.6

Total road transportation fuel gross profit

1,444.5

1,159.5

24.6

Other revenues gross profit(2)(3):

 

 

 

United States

9.7

10.8

(10.2)

Europe and other regions

19.8

22.7

(12.8)

Canada

5.9

4.9

20.4

Total other revenues gross profit

35.4

38.4

(7.8)

Total gross profit(3)

2,882.8

2,600.0

10.9

Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses

1,398.1

1,278.1

9.4

Gain on disposal of property and equipment and other assets

(13.0)

(37.3)

(65.1)

Depreciation, amortization and impairment

319.2

314.3

1.6

Operating income

1,178.5

1,044.9

12.8

Net financial expenses

67.1

74.3

(9.7)

Net earnings

872.4

764.4

14.1

Per Share Data:

 

 

 

Basic net earnings per share (dollars per share)

0.85

0.71

19.7

Diluted net earnings per share (dollars per share)

0.85

0.71

19.7

Adjusted diluted net earnings per share (dollars per share)(3)

0.85

0.71

19.7

 

 

 

 

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars, unless otherwise stated)

July 17,

2022

July 18,

2021

Variation

%

Other Operating Data:

 

 

 

Merchandise and service gross margin(1)(3):

 

 

 

Consolidated

34.4 %

34.5 %

(0.1)

United States

33.9 %

34.2 %

(0.3)

Europe and other regions

38.9 %

38.4 %

0.5

Canada

33.1 %

32.3 %

0.8

Growth of (decrease in) same-store merchandise revenues(4):

 

 

 

United States(5)(6)

3.5 %

(0.2 %)

 

Europe and other regions(3)

2.8 %

5.9 %

 

Canada(5)(6)

(1.3 %)

(9.6 %)

 

Road transportation fuel gross margin(3):

 

 

 

United States (cents per gallon)

49.00

36.75

33.3

Europe and other regions (cents per liter)

12.26

10.32

18.8

Canada (CA cents per liter)

14.04

10.92

28.6

Total volume of road transportation fuel sold:

 

 

 

United States (millions of gallons)

2,105.0

2,189.6

(3.9)

Europe and other regions (millions of liters)

2,288.8

2,391.7

(4.3)

Canada (millions of liters)

1,212.1

1,211.9

Growth of (decrease in) same-store road transportation fuel volume(5):

 

 

 

United States

(4.0 %)

11.8 %

 

Europe and other regions

(3.7 %)

6.3 %

 

Canada

0.4 %

10.4 %

 

 

 

 

 

(in millions of US dollars, unless otherwise stated)

As at
July 17, 2022

As at
April 24, 2022

Variation

 $

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

Total assets

29,350.6

29,591.6

(241.0)

Interest-bearing debt(3)

9,299.0

9,439.9

(140.9)

Equity

12,418.3

12,437.6

(19.3)

Indebtedness Ratios(3):

 

 

 

Net interest-bearing debt/total capitalization

              0.36 : 1

              0.37 : 1

 

Leverage ratio

              1.31 : 1

              1.39 : 1

 

Returns(3):

 

 

 

Return on equity

22.4 %

21.8 %

 

Return on capital employed

15.9 %

15.4 %

 

(1)

Includes revenues derived from franchise fees, royalties, suppliers' rebates on some purchases made by franchisees and licensees, as well as from wholesale of merchandise. Franchise fees from international licensed stores are presented in the United States.

(2)

Includes revenues from the rental of assets and from the sale of aviation fuel and energy for stationary engines.

(3)

Please refer to the "Non-IFRS measures" section for additional information on our capital management measure as well as performance measures not defined by IFRS.

(4)

This measure represents the growth of (decrease in) cumulated merchandise revenues between the current period and comparative period for those stores that were open for at least 23 days out of every 28-day period included in the reported periods. Merchandise revenues are defined as Merchandise and service revenues excluding service revenues.

(5)

For company-operated stores only.

(6)

Calculated based on respective functional currencies.

Revenues

Our revenues were $18.7 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2023, up by $5.1 billion, an increase of 37.4% compared with the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022, mainly attributable to a higher average road transportation fuel and other fuel products selling price, organic growth on merchandise and service revenues, and the contribution from acquisitions while being partly offset by lower road transportation fuel demand, the impact of the divestiture of sites following the strategic review of our network as well as the net negative impact of approximately $336.0 million from the translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars.

Merchandise and service revenues

Total merchandise and service revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 were $4.1 billion, an increase of $4.5 million compared with the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022. The translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars had a net negative impact of approximately $78.0 million. The remaining increase of approximately $82.0 million, or 2.0%, is primarily attributable to organic growth in the United States and Europe and other regions, and to the contribution from acquisitions which amounted to approximately $31.0 million, while being partly offset by the disposal of stores following the strategic review of our network. Same-store merchandise revenues increased by 3.5% in the United States, by 2.8%1 in Europe and other regions, and decreased by 1.3% in Canada. Same-store merchandise revenues in Canada were strongly impacted by increased competition of the illicit market in the cigarettes category compared with the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022.

Road transportation fuel revenues

Total road transportation fuel revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 were $14.3 billion, an increase of $4.9 billion compared with the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022. The translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars had a net negative impact of approximately $249.0 million. The remaining increase of approximately $5.2 billion, or 55.1%, is attributable to a higher average road transportation fuel selling price, which had an impact of approximately $5.5 billion partly offset by the impact of lower road transportation fuel demand. Same-store road transportation fuel volumes decreased by 4.0% in the United States and by 3.7% in Europe and other regions, and increased by 0.4% in Canada. During the quarter, road transportation fuel demand remained unfavorably impacted by the significant rise in retail prices driven by the increase in crude oil costs, from work from home trends and the impact from our fuel rebranding activities.

The following table shows the average selling price of road transportation fuel of our company-operated stores in our various markets for the last eight quarters. The average selling price of road transportation fuel consists of the road transportation fuel revenues divided by the volume of road transportation fuel sold:

Quarter

2nd

3rd

4th

1st

Weighted
average

52‑week period ended July 17, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

United States (US dollars per gallon)

3.08

3.28

3.94

4.61

3.69

 

Europe and other regions (US cents per liter)

86.29

96.66

120.84

129.11

106.91

 

Canada (CA cents per liter)

123.00

129.39

150.30

179.15

143.78

52‑week period ended July 18, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

United States (US dollars per gallon)

2.14

2.16

2.72

2.97

2.48

 

Europe and other regions (US cents per liter)

63.19

65.84

79.29

79.09

71.42

 

Canada (CA cents per liter)

92.00

92.54

108.99

117.51

101.90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other revenues

Total other revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 were $266.1 million, an increase of $150.4 million compared with the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022. The translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars had a net negative impact of approximately $11.0 million. The remaining increase of approximately $161.0 million, or 139.2%, is primarily driven by higher prices and higher demand on our other fuel products, which had a minimal impact on gross profit1.

Gross profit1

 

 

Please refer to the "Non-IFRS Measures" section for additional information on performance measures not defined by IFRS.

Our gross profit was $2.9 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2023, up by $282.8 million or 10.9%, compared with the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022, mainly attributable to higher road transportation fuel gross margins and organic growth in our convenience activities, while being partly offset by the net negative impact of the translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars of approximately $60.0 million.

Merchandise and service gross profit

In the first quarter of fiscal 2023, our merchandise and service gross profit was $1.4 billion, an increase of $0.8 million compared with the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022. The translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars had a net negative impact of approximately $29.0 million. The remaining increase of approximately $30.0 million, or 2.1%, is primarily due to organic growth driven by pricing initiatives. Our gross margin1 decreased by 0.3% in the United States to 33.9%, while it increased by 0.5% in Europe and other regions to 38.9%, and by 0.8% in Canada to 33.1%.

Road transportation fuel gross profit

In the first quarter of fiscal 2023, our road transportation fuel gross profit was $1.4 billion, an increase of $285.0 million compared with the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022. The translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars had a net negative impact of approximately $29.0 million. The remaining increase in our gross profit was approximately $314.0 million, or 27.1%. In the United States, our road transportation fuel gross margin1 was 49.00¢ per gallon, an increase of 12.25¢ per gallon, in Europe and other regions, our road transportation fuel gross margin1 was US 12.26¢ per liter, an increase of US 1.94¢ per liter, and in Canada, it was CA 14.04¢ per liter, an increase of CA 3.12¢ per liter. Fuel margins remained healthy throughout our network, due to favorable market conditions and the continued work on the optimization of our supply chain.

The road transportation fuel gross margin1 of our company-operated stores in the United States and the impact of expenses related to electronic payment modes for the last eight quarters, were as follows:

(US cents per gallon)

 

 

 

 

 

Quarter

2nd

3rd

4th

1st

Weighted
average

52‑week period ended July 17, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

Before deduction of expenses related to electronic payment modes

37.68

41.02

47.55

50.95

44.01

Expenses related to electronic payment modes(1)

5.31

5.74

6.61

7.21

6.18

After deduction of expenses related to electronic payment modes

32.37

35.28

40.94

43.74

37.83

52‑week period ended July 18, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

Before deduction of expenses related to electronic payment modes

37.48

31.86

35.25

37.58

35.34

Expenses related to electronic payment modes(1)

4.79

4.66

5.10

5.38

4.96

After deduction of expenses related to electronic payment modes

32.69

27.20

30.15

32.20

30.38

(1)

Expenses related to electronic payment modes are determined by allocating the portion of total electronic payment modes, which are included in Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses, deemed related to our United-States company-operated stores road transportation fuel transactions.

Generally, during normal economic cycles, road transportation fuel margins in the United States can be volatile from one quarter to another, while in Europe and other regions and in Canada, fuel margins and expenses related to electronic payment modes are not as volatile.

Other revenues gross profit

In the first quarter of fiscal 2023, other revenues gross profit was $35.4 million, a decrease of $3.0 million compared with the corresponding period of fiscal 2022. The translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars had a net negative impact of approximately $2.0 million.

Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses ("expenses")

For the first quarter of fiscal 2023, expenses increased by 9.4% compared with the corresponding period of fiscal 2022. Normalized growth of expenses1 was 7.3%, as shown in the table below:

 

 

1 Please refer to the "Non-IFRS Measures" section for additional information on performance measures not defined by IFRS.

 

12‑week periods ended

 

July 17, 2022

July 18, 2021

Growth of expenses, as reported

9.4 %

11.3 %

Adjusted for:

 

 

Increase from higher electronic payment fees, excluding acquisitions

(3.7 %)

(2.4 %)

Decrease (increase) from the net impact of foreign exchange translation

2.5 %

(3.4 %)

Increase from incremental expenses related to acquisitions

(0.9 %)

(2.2 %)

Decrease from changes in acquisition costs recognized to earnings

— %

0.2 %

Normalized growth of expenses1

7.3 %

3.5 %

For the first quarter of fiscal 2023, we have continued to deploy strategic efforts in order to mitigate the impact of a higher inflation level and continued pressure on wages, which is demonstrated by our normalized growth of expensesof 7.3%, which is below inflation, despite the challenging market conditions. The normalized growth of expenses1 in the first quarter was mainly driven by inflationary pressures, most notably on higher occupancy costs, higher costs from rising minimum wages, as well as by incremental investments in our stores to support our strategic initiatives partly offset by the impact of lower pressure in the employment market.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment ("EBITDA1") and adjusted EBITDA1

 

 

1 Please refer to the "Non-IFRS Measures" section for additional information on performance measures not defined by IFRS.

 

During the first quarter of fiscal 2023, EBITDA stood at $1.5 billion, an increase of 10.6% compared with the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 increased by $144.4 million, or 10.6%, compared with the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022, mainly due to higher road transportation fuel margins, and organic growth in our convenience operations, partly offset by higher expenses. The translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars had a net negative impact of approximately $28.0 million.

Depreciation, amortization and impairment ("depreciation")

For the first quarter of fiscal 2023, our depreciation expense increased by $4.9 million compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2022. The translation of our foreign currency operations into US dollars had a net favorable impact of approximately $9.0 million. The remaining increase of approximately $14.0 million, or 4.5%, is mainly driven by the replacement of equipment, the ongoing improvement of our network and the impact from investments made through acquisitions.

Net financial expenses

Net financial expenses for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 were $67.1 million, a decrease of $7.2 million compared with the corresponding period of fiscal 2022. A portion of the decrease is explained by certain items that are not considered indicative of future trends, as shown in the table below:

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars)

July 17, 2022

July 18, 2021

Variation

Net financial expenses, as reported

67.1

74.3

(7.2)

Explained by:

 

 

 

Change in fair value of financial instruments and amortization of deferred differences

0.9

(10.1)

11.0

Net foreign exchange (loss) gain

(1.0)

8.6

(9.6)

Remaining variation

67.0

72.8

(5.8)

The remaining variation is mainly driven by the reduction of long-term debt compared with the corresponding period of fiscal 2022.

Income taxes

The income tax rate for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 was 21.9% compared with 21.3% for the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022. The increase is mainly stemming from the impact of a different mix in our earnings across the various jurisdictions in which we operate.

Net earnings and adjusted net earnings1

Net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 were $872.4 million, compared with $764.4 million for the first quarter of the previous fiscal year, an increase of $108.0 million, or 14.1%. Diluted net earnings per share stood at $0.85, compared with $0.71 for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year. The translation of revenues and expenses from our foreign currency operations into US dollars had a net negative impact of approximately $20.0 million on net earnings of the first quarter of fiscal 2023.

Adjusted net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 were approximately $875.0 million, compared with $758.0 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, an increase of $117.0 million, or 15.4%. Adjusted diluted net earnings per share were $0.85 for the first quarter of fiscal 2023, compared with $0.71 for the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2022, an increase of 19.7%.

Dividends

During its August 30, 2022 meeting, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of CA 11.0¢ per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 to shareholders on record as at September 8, 2022, and approved its payment effective September 22, 2022. This is an eligible dividend within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

Non-IFRS Measures

To provide more information for evaluating the Corporation's performance, the financial information included in our financial documents contains certain data that are not performance measures under IFRS ("non-IFRS measures"), which are also calculated on an adjusted basis to exclude specific items. We believe that providing those non-IFRS measures is useful to management, investors, and analysts, as they provide additional information to measure the performance and financial position of the Corporation.

The following non-IFRS financial measures are used in our financial disclosures:

  • Gross profit;

  • Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment ("EBITDA") and adjusted EBITDA;

  • Adjusted net earnings; and

  • Interest-bearing debt;

The following non-IFRS ratios are used in our financial disclosures:

  • Merchandise and service gross margin and Road transportation fuel gross margin;

  • Normalized growth of operating, selling, general and administrative expenses;

  • Growth of same-store merchandise revenues for Europe and other regions;

  • Adjusted diluted net earnings per share;

  • Leverage ratio; and

  • Return on equity and return on capital employed.

The following capital management measure is used in our financial disclosures:

  • Net interest-bearing debt/total capitalization.

Supplementary financial measures are also used in our financial disclosures and those measures are described where they are presented.

Non-IFRS financial measures and ratios, as well as the capital management measure are mainly derived from the consolidated financial statements, but do not have standardized meanings prescribed by IFRS. These non-IFRS measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial measures prepared in accordance with IFRS. In addition, our definitions of non-IFRS measures may differ from those of other public corporations. Any such modification or reformulation may be significant. These measures are also adjusted for the pro forma impact of our acquisitions and impacts of new accounting standards, if they are considered to be material.

Gross profit. Gross profit consists of revenues less the cost of sales, excluding depreciation, amortization and impairment. This measure is considered useful for evaluating the underlying performance of our operations.

The table below reconciles revenues and cost of sales, excluding depreciation, amortization and impairment, as per IFRS, to gross profit:

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars)

July 17, 2022

July 18, 2021

Revenues

18,657.7

13,578.9

Cost of sales, excluding depreciation, amortization and impairment

15,774.9

10,978.9

Gross profit

2,882.8

2,600.0

Please note that the same reconciliation applies in the determination of gross profit by category and by geography presented in the section "Summary Analysis of Consolidated Results".

Merchandise and service gross margin. Merchandise and service gross margin consists of Merchandise and service gross profit divided by Merchandise and service revenues, both measures are presented in the section ''Summary Analysis of Consolidated Results''. Merchandise and service gross margin is considered useful for evaluating how efficiently we generate gross profit by dollar of revenue.

Road transportation fuel gross margin. Road transportation fuel gross margin consists of Road transportation fuel gross profit divided by total volume of road transportation fuel sold. For the United States and Europe and other regions, both measures are presented in the section ''Summary Analysis of Consolidated Results''. For Canada, this measure is presented in functional currency and the table below reconciles, for road transportation fuel, Revenues and Cost of sales, excluding depreciation, amortization and impairment, as per IFRS, to gross profit and the resulting road transportation fuel gross margin. This measure is considered useful for evaluating how efficiently we generate gross profit by gallon or liter of road transportation fuel sold.

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of Canadian dollars, unless otherwise noted)

July 17, 2022

July 18, 2021

Road transportation fuel revenues

2,136.5

1,394.1

Road transportation fuel cost of sales, excluding depreciation, amortization and impairment

1,966.3

1,261.8

Road transportation fuel gross profit

170.2

132.3

Total road transportation fuel volume sold

1,212.1

1,211.9

Road transportation fuel gross margin (CA cents per liter)

14.04

10.92

Normalized growth of operating, selling, general and administrative expenses ("normalized growth of expenses"). Normalized growth of expenses consists of the growth of Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses adjusted for the impact of the changes in our network, the impact of more volatile items over which we have limited control, as well as the impact from changes in accounting policies and adoption of accounting standards. This measure is considered useful for evaluating our ability to control our expenses on a comparable basis.

The tables below reconcile growth of Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses to normalized growth of expenses:

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars, unless otherwise noted)

July 17, 2022

July 18, 2021

Variation

Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses, as published

1,398.1

1,278.1

9.4 %

Adjusted for:

 

 

 

Increase from higher electronic payment fees, excluding acquisitions

(46.7)

(3.7 %)

Decrease from the net impact of foreign exchange translation

31.6

2.5 %

Increase from incremental expenses related to acquisitions

(11.1)

(0.9 %)

Increase from changes in acquisition costs recognized to earnings

(0.4)

Normalized growth of expenses

1,371.5

1,278.1

7.3 %

 

 

 

 

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars, unless otherwise noted)

July 18, 2021

July 19, 2020

Variation

Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses, as published

1,278.1

1,148.6

11.3 %

Adjusted for:

 

 

 

Increase from the net impact of foreign exchange translation

(39.6)

(3.4 %)

Increase from higher electronic payment fees, excluding acquisitions

(27.5)

(2.4 %)

Increase from incremental expenses related to acquisitions

(25.2)

(2.2 %)

Decrease from changes in acquisition costs recognized to earnings

2.7

0.2 %

Normalized growth of expenses

1,188.5

1,148.6

3.5 %

Growth of same-store merchandise revenues for Europe and other regions. Same-store merchandise revenues represent cumulated merchandise revenues between the current period and comparative period for those stores that were open for at least 23 days out of every 28-day period included in the reported periods. Merchandise revenues are defined as Merchandise and service revenues excluding service revenues. For Europe and other regions, the growth of same-store merchandise revenues is calculated based on constant currencies using the respective current period average exchange rate for both the current and corresponding period. In Europe and other regions, same-store merchandise revenues include same-store revenues from company-operated stores, CODO and DODO stores, as well as Asian corporate stores prior to their acquisition date of December 21, 2020. These last two items are not included in our consolidated results. This measure is considered useful for evaluating our ability to generate organic growth on a comparable basis in our overall European and other regions store network.

The tables below reconcile Merchandise and service revenues, as per IFRS, to same-store merchandise revenues for Europe and other regions and the resulting percentage of growth:

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars, unless otherwise noted)

July 17, 2022

July 18, 2021

Merchandise and service revenues for Europe and other regions

537.1

561.4

Adjusted for:

 

 

Service revenues

(39.8)

(44.8)

Net foreign exchange impact

(46.7)

Merchandise revenues for stores not meeting the definition of same-store

(19.1)

(17.8)

Same-store merchandise revenues from stores not included in our consolidated results, including the impact of store conversions

84.9

95.7

Total Same-store merchandise revenues for Europe and other regions

563.1

547.8

Growth of same-store merchandise revenues for Europe and other regions

2.8 %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars, unless otherwise noted)

July 18, 2021

July 19, 2020

Merchandise and service revenues for Europe and other regions

561.4

343.2

Adjusted for:

 

 

Service revenues

(44.8)

(33.7)

Net foreign exchange impact

35.7

Merchandise revenues for stores not meeting the definition of same-store

(8.7)

(13.6)

Same-store merchandise revenues from stores not included in our consolidated results, including the impact of store conversions 

113.6

255.2

Total Same-store merchandise revenues for Europe and other regions

621.5

586.8

Growth of same-store merchandise revenues for Europe and other regions

5.9 %

 

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment ("EBITDA") and adjusted EBITDA. EBITDA represents net earnings plus income taxes, net financial expenses, and depreciation, amortization and impairment. Adjusted EBITDA represents the EBITDA adjusted for acquisition costs and other specific items for which the impact on consolidated results is not deemed indicative of future trends. These performance measures are considered useful to facilitate the evaluation of our ongoing operations and our ability to generate cash flows to fund our cash requirements, including our capital expenditures program, share repurchases, and payment of dividends.

The table below reconciles net earnings, as per IFRS, to EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA:

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars)

July 17, 2022

July 18, 2021

Net earnings

872.4

764.4

Add:

 

 

Income taxes

244.6

206.3

Net financial expenses

67.1

74.3

Depreciation, amortization and impairment

319.2

314.3

EBITDA

1,503.3

1,359.3

Adjusted for:

 

 

Acquisition costs

1.2

0.8

Adjusted EBITDA

1,504.5

1,360.1

Adjusted net earnings and adjusted diluted net earnings per share. Adjusted net earnings represents net earnings adjusted for net foreign exchange gains or losses, acquisition costs and other specific items for which the impact on consolidated results is not deemed indicative of future trends. These measures are considered useful for evaluating the underlying performance of our operations on a comparable basis.

The table below reconciles net earnings, as per IFRS, with adjusted net earnings and adjusted diluted net earnings per share:

 

12‑week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars, except per share amounts, or unless otherwise noted)

July 17, 2022

July 18, 2021

Net earnings

872.4

764.4

Adjusted for:

 

 

Acquisition costs

1.2

0.8

Net foreign exchange loss (gain)

1.0

(8.6)

Tax impact of the items above and rounding

0.4

1.4

Adjusted net earnings

875.0

758.0

Weighted average number of shares - diluted (in millions)

1,027.2

1,074.4

Adjusted diluted net earnings per share

0.85

0.71

Interest-bearing debt. This measure represents the sum of the following balance sheet accounts: Current portion of long-term debt, Long-term debt, Current portion of lease liabilities and Lease liabilities. This measure is considered useful to facilitate the understanding of our financial position in relation with financing obligations. The calculation of this measure of financial position is detailed in the ''Net interest-bearing debt/total capitalization'' section below.

Net interest-bearing debt/total capitalization. This measure represents the basis for monitoring our capital as well as a measure of financial condition that is especially used in financial circles.

The table below presents the calculation of this performance measure:

(in millions of US dollars, except ratio data)

As at July 17, 2022

As at April 24, 2022

Current portion of long-term debt

1.5

1.4

Current portion of lease liabilities

414.7

425.4

Long-term debt

5,864.9

5,963.6

Lease liabilities

3,017.9

3,049.5

Interest-bearing debt

9,299.0

9,439.9

Less: Cash and cash equivalents

2,195.4

2,143.9

Net interest-bearing debt

7,103.6

7,296.0

Equity

12,418.3

12,437.6

Net interest-bearing debt

7,103.6

7,296.0

Total capitalization

19,521.9

19,733.6

Net interest-bearing debt to total capitalization ratio

0.36 : 1

0.37 : 1

Leverage ratio. This measure represents a measure of financial condition that is especially used in financial circles.

The table below reconciles net interest-bearing debt and adjusted EBITDA, for which the calculation methodologies are described in other tables of this section, with the leverage ratio:

 

52-week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars, except ratio data)

July 17, 2022

April 24, 2022

Net interest-bearing debt

7,103.6

7,296.0

Adjusted EBITDA

5,410.5

5,266.1

Leverage ratio

1.31 : 1

1.39 : 1

Return on equity. This measure is used to assess the relation between our profitability and our net assets. Average equity is calculated by taking the average of the opening and closing balance for the 52-week period. 

The table below reconciles net earnings, as per IFRS, with the ratio of return on equity:

 

52-week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars, unless otherwise noted)

July 17, 2022

April 24, 2022

Net earnings

2,791.3

2,683.3

Equity - Opening balance

12,461.7

12,180.9

Equity - Ending balance

12,418.3

12,437.6

Average equity

12,440.0

12,309.3

Return on equity

22.4 %

21.8 %

Return on capital employed. This measure is used to measure the relation between our profitability and capital efficiency. Earnings before interest and taxes ("EBIT") represents net earnings plus income taxes and net financial expenses. Capital employed represents total assets less short-term liabilities not bearing interest, which excludes the current portion of long-term debt and current portion of lease liabilities. Average capital employed is calculated by taking the average of the beginning and ending balance of capital employed for the 52-week period.

The table below reconciles net earnings, as per IFRS, to EBIT with the ratio of return on capital employed:

 

52-week periods ended

(in millions of US dollars, unless otherwise noted)

July 17, 2022

April 24, 2022

Net earnings

2,791.3

2,683.3

Add:

 

 

Income taxes

772.6

734.3

Net financial expenses

273.8

281.0

EBIT

3,837.7

3,698.6

Capital employed - Opening balance(1)

24,298.1

23,971.5

Capital employed - Ending balance(1)

23,860.1

24,001.0

Average capital employed

24,079.1

23,986.3

Return on capital employed

15.9 %

15.4 %

(1)

The table below reconciles balance sheet line items, as per IFRS, to capital employed:

 

(in millions of US dollars)

As at
July 17, 2022

As at
July 18, 2021

As at
April 24, 2022

As at
April 25, 2021

Total Assets

29,350.6

29,137.3

29,591.6

28,394.5

Less: Current liabilities

(5,906.7)

(5,308.5)

(6,017.4)

(5,949.7)

Add: Current portion of long-term debt

1.5

62.2

1.4

1,107.3

Add: Current portion of lease liabilities

414.7

407.1

425.4

419.4

Capital employed

23,860.1

24,298.1

24,001.0

23,971.5

Profile

Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and fuel retail, operating in 24 countries and territories, with close to 14,100 stores, of which approximately 10,700 offer road transportation fuel. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States and it is a leader in the convenience store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, as well as in Ireland. It also has an important presence in Poland and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Approximately 122,000 people are employed throughout its network.

For more information on Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., or to consult its audited annual Consolidated Financial Statements, unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and Management Discussion and Analysis, please visit: https://corpo.couche-tard.com.

The statements set forth in this press release, which describes Couche-Tard's objectives, projections, estimates, expectations, or forecasts, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation. Positive or negative verbs such as "believe", "can", "shall", "intend", "expect", "estimate", "assume", and other related expressions are used to identify such statements. Couche-Tard would like to point out that, by their very nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties such that its results, or the measures it adopts, could differ materially from those indicated in or underlying these statements, or could have an impact on the degree of realization of a particular projection. Major factors that may lead to a material difference between Couche-Tard's actual results and the projections or expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements include the effects of the integration of acquired businesses and the ability to achieve projected synergies, uncertainty related to the duration and severity of the current COVID-19 pandemic, fluctuations in margins on motor fuel sales, competition in the convenience store and retail motor fuel industries, exchange rate variations, and such other risks as described in detail from time to time in the reports filed by Couche-Tard with securities authorities in Canada and the United States. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, Couche-Tard disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking information in this release is based on information available as of the date of the release.

Webcast on August 31, 2022, at 8:00 A.M. (EDT)

Couche-Tard invites analysts known to the Corporation to ask their questions to its management on August 31, 2022, during the question and answer period of the webcast.

Financial Analysts, Investors, media and any individuals interested in listening to the webcast on Couche-Tard's results, which will take place online on August 31, 2022, at 8:00 A.M. (EDT) can do so by either accessing the Corporation's website at https://corpo.couche-tard.com/en and by clicking in the "Investors/Events & Presentations" section or by dialing 1-888-390-0549 or the international number 1-416-764-8682, followed by the access code 35419650#.

Rebroadcast: For individuals who will not be able to listen to the live webcast, a recording of the webcast will be available on the Corporation's website for a period of 90 days.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

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