Cary-based convenience store chain The Pantry reported a first-quarter loss this morning, blaming rising fuel prices and bad winter weather in Deember for some of the decline.
The company operates more than 1,600 convenience stores throughout the Southeast primarily under the Kangaroo Express brand. Officials also pointed to some highlights of the quarter, including higher merchandise sales at stores open for more than a year and its ongoing fresh food initiative, which it has been piloting in Triangle stores and is now expanding company-wide.
For the first quarter ended Dec. 30, 2010, The Pantry reported a net loss of 12.2 million, or 54 cents per share. The company also adjusted its 2011 guidance, to $1.80 to $1.84 per share.
CEO Terry Marks told investors, analysts and reporters on a conference call this morning that the rising fuel prices and continued economic depression are hitting home for The Pantry's core customers.
"Rising fuel prices have their greatest impact on that segment of the population that is struggling to make ends meet," he said.