The Ankeny-based Casey’s convenience store chain reports a nearly two-percent drop in gasoline sales in the last quarter, while the company continued to maintain its goal of a double-digit profit on every gallon sold. Casey’s Chief Financial Officer, Bill Walljasper, says the company held its “margin” or profit on gas at over 15-cents-a-gallon even though gas prices rose about 30% during the February through April period.
Walljasper says customers have bought less gas as prices went up, but he expects that to change as customers get used to the continued high prices. Walljasper says as customers get acclimated to a “new pricing norm” he would expect to see their habits start to reverse and they would use more gas again.
Walljasper says the increase in prices is a repeat of three years ago as they saw the gas price levels at this same point back in 2008 and he thinks customers will get more acclimated to the prices and what they were back in 2008.
Walljasper says the company expects to maintain its gas margin and could even improve it, if prices drop. He says if the retail price of gas stays where it is at now and other costs stay the same, they believe smaller competitors will “continue to price more rationally in the gas market.” Walljasper says that will allow Caseys to continue to make a good margin on gas by not having to compete with lower prices set by competitors.
Walljasper says the price of cheese increased 40 cents a pound, and the cost of coffee doubled in the last quarters, which led to a price increase for pizza and coffee. But, Walljasper says sales of the prepared foods in stores was still up for the quarter by almost 12%. Casey’s has more than 1,600 stores in 11 states.