Despite a continually lagging national economy, United Refining Co. provided a bright spot for investors in 2012.
During a Monday morning conference call, United reported record fiscal year 2012 earnings.
"We're pleased to announce that 2012 was a record year for United," President and Chief Operating Officer Myron Turfitt said.
Net earnings for the fiscal year, which ended Aug. 31, totaled approximately $190.8 million, driven by strong sales increases. United showed a net loss of approximately $8.1 million in fiscal 2011.
Net total sales for the fiscal year were approximately $3.7 billion, an increase of approximately $500 million from 2011.
Retail sales showed a steady increase. Retail sales increased from approximately $1.6 billion in 2011 to approximately $1.7 billion in fiscal 2012, an increase of 6.3 percent, or approximately $102 million.
Retail sales gains were attributed increased petroleum prices and merchandise sales.
United operates the Kwik-Fill/Red Apple and Country Fair store lines.
Wholesale sales rose nearly 30 percent from 2011, approximately $461.8 million, to just over $2 billion. The increase in wholesale earnings was attributed to an approximately 6.2 percent increase in selling prices coupled with a 22.3 percent increase in wholesale sales volume.
The price per barrel for crude oil averaged approximately $30.50 throughout fiscal 2012.
Refinery output increased in 2012 to an average of 68,000 barrels per day. The refinery produced an average of 66,000 barrels per day in 2011. The refinery has a per day capacity of approximately 70,000 barrels.
United also reported no borrowing under the company's revolving credit apparatus and cash-on-hand of approximately $218 million.
United reported optimism going into fiscal 2013. The company reported "experiencing strong margins" so far in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, a situation mirroring the early part of fiscal 2012.
"As we move into 2013," Turfitt said, "we continue to operate in a high margin market."
The company also announced plans to pursue additional grid storage tanking in late 2013 to allow greater flexibility in a variable market. United Chief Executive Officer John Catsimatidis estimated a tentative $10 million cost for implementation of the project.