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Quebec's Couche-Tard sells EU aviation fuel business to BP

Quebec convenience store company Alimentation Couche-Tard says it has signed a deal to sell its European-based aviation fuel business, which it acquired during its purchase of Statoil’s retail business, to Air BP.

Convenience store firm sees profit rise after string of acquisitions

Alimentation Couche-Tard owns 6,200 convenience stores in North America. It has sold the aviation fuel business it bought from Norway's Statoil. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Quebec convenience store company Alimentation Couche-Tard says it has signed a deal to sell its European-based aviation fuel business, which it acquired during its purchase of Statoil’s retail business, to Air BP.

Financial terms of the deal were not released, but the sale will be completed through a share purchase agreement by the end of 2014.

Couche-Tard acquired Statoil Fuel & Retail in a blockbuster $3.6-billion US deal in 2012. It supplies fuel to airliners, general aviation, military and bulk customers in 73 airports and marinas in Northern Europe.

The purchaser, a unit of British Petroleum, is one of the world's largest suppliers of aviation fuel products and services with a network of 600 air fuel stations.

Profits up in quarter

About 59 Statoil Fuel & Aviation employees, based in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, are expected to join Air BP.

Couche-Tard has more than 2,250 convenience stores in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia, many of them offering fuel as well as food and snacks.

On Wednesday, the Laval, Que.-based company reported higher profits for the quarter ended July 20 compared with a year ago.

It earned $269.5 million US or 47 cents per diluted share in the quarter with a profit of $255 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of its previous financial year.

Revenue was up just more than three per cent to $9.19 billion US compared with $8.90 billion year-over-year, mainly because of acquisitions.

Couche-Tard keeps its books in U.S. dollars and said currency translations from the Canadian dollar and the euro reduced its net earnings by $3 million in the quarter.

The company has raised its quarterly dividend by half a cent to 4.5 cents per share on the strong results.

With files from the Canadian Press

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