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Couche-Tard results hit by Scandinavian acquisition

A dog named Roxy waits outside a Couche-Tard convenience store in Montreal, April 18, 2012.

CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/REUTERS

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s $2.8-billion takeover of Scandinavian convenience store operator Statoil Fuel and Retail ASA has taken a bite out first-quarter profit.

Couche-Tard has posted net profit of $102.9-million (U.S.) or 57 cents per share for the quarter, down from $139.5-million or 76 cents in the previous year.

The results reflect the additional debt Couche-Tard has taken on to finance the acquisition as well as a weaker Canadian dollar.

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The results also include for the first time part of Statoil's financials: the period between June 20 and June 30, 2012.

Couche-Tard chief financial officer Raymond Paré said in a news release that the Laval, Que.-based company is committed to a rapid reduction of its debt level.

Excluding non-recurring items related to the recently-closed Statoil acquisition – amounting to $108-million, pre-tax – net profit was $173-million or 95 cents per share, up $33.3-million or 23.8 per cent from last year's first quarter.

The increase in adjusted net profit is mostly due to the contributions from acquisitions, increased merchandise and service sales as well as a reduced income tax rate, the company said Wednesday.

Revenue in the quarter reached $6-billion, up from $5.2-billion in the year-earlier period.

Couche-Tard shares fell $1.25 (Canadian) or 2.5 per cent to $48.95 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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