Alimentation Couche − Tard wants its convenience stores and service stations to offer the possibility of recharging electric vehicles and the multinational notably intends to bank on Quebec to deploy its network.
The Quebec chain believes that the know-how acquired in Norway, the per capita electric vehicle capital of the world, where it has been present since 2012, could help it develop its strategy for the North American market.
“We are continuing our preparations to offer short-term terminals in our main markets where there are electric vehicles, and Quebec and California are likely to be our starting points,” the president and CEO explained on Wednesday. de Couche − Tard, Brian Hannasch, on a conference call to discuss second quarter results.
However, it did not provide a timeline and details on the locations and the number of terminals that will be installed. On Wednesday afternoon, the Laval-based company did not respond to a request for information.
According to the most recent data from the Association of Electric Vehicles of Quebec, there are approximately 82,000 electric cars in the province, which constitutes more than half of the fleet nationwide. In a plan presented last week, the Legault government announced that it wanted the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles to be banned from 2035.
“Couche − Tard currently has more than 500 stations at its service stations in Norway, in addition to 2,700 more in homes and offices,” said analyst Peter Sklar of BMO Capital Markets in a note sent. to its customers, about the company’s network in Europe.
Taking into account its licensing agreements around the world, Couche − Tard had more than 14,200 stores at the end of the second quarter. In North America, it operates 9,261 stores, including 8,085 with a gas station. Couche − Tard is present in 48 states south of the border.
But if it intends to deploy a network of charging stations in the North American market, the multinational will nonetheless continue to focus on fuel sales. The COVID − 19 pandemic has negatively impacted sales volumes due to travel restrictions, but Hannasch said he expects to return to more “normal” levels within six to nine months, when ‘an effective vaccine should be available.
Last year, fuel sales represented nearly 70% of Couche − Tard’s sales.
In the second quarter ended October 11, Couche − Tard posted net profits of US $ 757 million, or 68 US cents per share, up 30.8% from the same period last year.
Its revenue, however, declined 22.1% to US $ 10.7 billion, a performance the company attributed to the decline in the average price of gasoline, the negative impact of the health crisis. on the demand for fuel and on the sale of its interest in CrossAmerica Partners.
Revenue from fuel sales fell 31.5% to US $ 6.8 billion.
Excluding non-recurring items, the adjusted profit for the convenience store and gas station chain was US $ 735 million, or 66 cents per share, compared to US $ 569 million, or 50 cents per share. share, in the second quarter last year.
Analysts were forecasting an adjusted profit of 51 cents per share on sales of $ 11.2 billion, according to forecasts gathered by financial data firm Refinitiv.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday, Couche − Tard’s Class B share closed at 42.97%, down 8 cents, or 0.2%.