Ankeny-based Casey’s convenience stores reports the end of pandemic shutdowns has had a big impact on the company’s bottom line.

CEO Darren Rebelez talked about the first-quarter results today in a conference call.
“Sales volume and margin improved dramatically as guest traffic began to rebound — driving an all-time high gross profit for the company,” Rebelez says.

Chief financial officer Steve Bramlage filled in more of the details. “Casey’s had gross profit of $723.9 million in the first quarter. That’s an increase of over 100 million dollars in the prior year. This represents the highest gross profit in Casey’s history,” Bramlage says.

He says the increases came as more people visited the convenience stores. “It is primarily attributable to higher inside gross profit of 66.3 million dollars — or nearly 17 percent. As well as an increase of 24.9 million dollars — or 11% — of fuel gross profit,” according to Bramlage.

He says the fuel profits included a higher than normal sale of 19 million dollars in renewable fuel credits. Gas sales increased nine percent — and he says the company took advantage of higher gas prices to make 35 cents on each gallon sold. The company also had an increase in the number of stores in the mix as they completed the Buchanan Energy and Circle K store acquisitions.

Rebelez says alcohol sales that had soared during the pandemic dropped back down. “Although alcohol sales have moderated and were about flat versus pandemic buying the prior year — we still achieved a 20-point-two percent two-year stack growth,” Rebelez says.

Casey’s had 2,380 stores at the end of the first quarter on July 31st.