The Pantry, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTRY), a leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern U.S., today announced financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended December 26, 2013.
First Quarter Summary:
- Net loss was $5.1 million or $0.23 per share. This compares to net loss of $3.1 million or $0.14 per share in last year's first quarter. Excluding the impact of impairment charges, net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 was $4.6 million, or $0.20 per share, compared to net loss of $1.7 million, or $0.08 per share, in the prior year (see reconciliation below).
- Adjusted EBITDA was $42.4 million, down from $48.9 million a year ago (see reconciliation below).
- Comparable store merchandise revenue increased 3.5%.
- Merchandise gross margin decreased to 33.5% from 34.3% in the prior year quarter driven by promotional activity and sales mix.
- Fuel gross profit was $48.7 million, compared to $49.2 million a year ago as comparable store fuel gallons sold declined 4.0%. This was partially offset by our retail fuel margin per gallon increasing $0.004 over the prior year quarter to $0.118.
- Store operating and general and administrative expenses were $154.0 million compared to $147.2 million a year ago, as we upgraded our stores and incurred significant upfront training costs to support staffing realignment related to the Affordable Care Act. The increase included a $1.1 million unfavorable variance in gain/loss on asset sales. Other increases included: $3.0 million in facilities costs (of which $1.3 million was at remodeled stores); $1.5 million in store labor (of which $0.7 million was for increased training costs); and $1.2 million in medical insurance, incentive compensation and other costs.
- Our effective tax rate for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 was 39.2% compared to 39.9% in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis G. Hatchell said, "We gained further momentum in merchandise sales during the first quarter as comparable sales grew 3.5%, our strongest result since the third quarter of fiscal year 2012. Our 4.1% increase in sales per customer drove this growth as inside customer traffic levels stabilized. These encouraging results were supported by continued progress upgrading our store base. During the first quarter we opened one new store, completed 28 remodels and added four new QSR's. As anticipated, higher expenses caused Adjusted EBITDA to be below last year, and we have action plans in place to control them over the balance of the year."
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