STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Star Gas Partners, L.P. (the "Partnership" or "Star") (NYSE:SGU), a home energy distributor and services provider specializing in home heating oil, today filed its fiscal 2012 annual report on Form 10-K with the SEC and announced financial results for the fiscal 2012 fourth quarter and year ended September 30, 2012.
Three Months Ended September 30, 2012 Compared to Three Months Ended September 30, 2011
The Partnership reported a 13.6 percent increase in total revenue, to $174.0 million, due to an increase in heating oil and propane selling prices associated with higher commodity costs as well as an increase in volume. Home heating oil and propane volume increased 4.0 percent to 20.5 million gallons, as the volume provided by acquisitions more than offset the impact of net customer attrition, conservation and other factors.Total gross profit increased 7.5 percent to $32.8 million, as the additional gross profit from service and installations as well as from higher home heating oil and propane volume more than offset a decline in home heating oil and propane margins. Operating expenses, including depreciation and amortization, declined by $8.1 million, or 13.9 percent, to $50.2 million due to lower insurance expense, a decline in bad debt expense and management's efforts at reducing expenses. The Partnership's operating loss decreased by $33.8 million to a loss of $7.5 million due largely to a favorable change in the fair value of derivative instruments of $23.3 million, lower operating expenses and an increase in gross profit. Star's net loss was $5.6 million, a $21.1 million improvement over last year. The Partnership's Adjusted EBITDA loss decreased $10.6 million, to a loss of $13.1 million, due to an increase in total gross profit of $2.3 million and lower delivery, branch and general and administrative expenses of $8.3 million. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure (see reconciliation below) that should not be considered as an alternative to net income (as an indicator of operating performance) or as an alternative to cash flow (as a measure of liquidity or ability to service debt obligations) but provides additional information for evaluating the Partnership's ability to make the Minimum Quarterly Distribution.