- 10 Apr
NACS State of the Industry 2012 fuels statistical highlights
Before releasing their complete “NACS State of the Industry Report of 2012 Data”, the National Association of Convenience Stores released some key c-store metrics for the US 2012 calendar year. Fuel price management statistics follow:
- Motor fuels sales increased 2.9% to a record $501.0 billion. Obviously this is related to the price of fuel throughout the year, but it is an interesting statistic to consider when comparing 2012 c-store corporate financial reports, and calculating market share across c-store chains.
- First quarter 2012 sales and profits were the best of any other quarter, while fourth quarter sales and profits were the worst. This is another interesting statistic to consider when reviewing c-store corporate financial reports, and the numbers showing comparisons to the previous quarter and prior year.
- Motor fuels sales accounted for 71.5% of total sales. That means once again, fuel price management addressed the largest product category by far in terms of revenue dollars.
- Motor fuels accounted for 35% of profit. From a fuel price management perspective, that means fuel price management is a discipline that requires watchful care because profits are relatively slim compared to other product categories.
- Motor fuels gross margins for the year were $0.178 per gallon before expenses, compared to $0.182 per gallon in 2011. These figures are yet another indicator of the increased competitive pressure in the fuel price management environment as c-stores compete for decreasing fuels volumes and margins shrink.
- Credit and debit card fees added 5.1 cents to every gallon of gasoline sold at convenience stores in 2012. That means we can immediately drop the 2012 margins to $0.127 before other expenses that could be an additional $0.07 per gallon. This means fuel analysts are frequently working with overall net fuel margins for the year in the neighborhood of $0.05 per gallon.
Only with a robust fuel pricing software system can fuel analysts optimize profits in the largest c-store product category, when the environment continues to be such a challenge.