Increases in the price of gas and cheese have cut into the profits of Ankeny-based Casey’s General Stores. The convenience store chain’s latest financial report covering May through July was released today. Casey’s Chief Financial Officer Jim Shaffer says sales revenue was up nearly 10-percent, but gross profit was only up four-point-two percent. Shaffer says an increase in the cost of gas cut into the company’s profit margin. He says gas profits were in line at the end of June, but prices crept up again in July, and despite record sales, profits dropped.Shaffer says sales of pizza and sandwiches prepared in the stores were up nearly 12-percent, but profits were hurt by increased costs. He says the primary reason for the profit reduction was the increase in the cost of cheese and meat toppings.Shaffer expects profits for gas and food to even out over the rest of the year as gas supplies increase and the price of cheese is expected to drop.He says a refinery fire in Illinois led to gas supply problems and an increase in its cost. Shaffer’s heard help could be on the way as he’s heard the E-P-A is relaxing the rules to allow additional gas to come into the Midwest from other regions. Shaffer says Casey’s overall earnings are up 26 cents-a-share, compared to 32-cents-a-share one year ago.
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