Enon-based Speedway earnings top $673M last year

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Speedway reported Wednesday $673 million in earnings last year and the convenience store chain is ahead of schedule in converting former Hess locations to the Speedway brand, according to company officials.

The earnings for the Enon-based chain were higher than 2014, when the company earned $544 million for the year. Most of the increase was due to benefits from the chain’s 2014 acquisition of Hess, an East Coast chain. Speedway acquired that chain of convenience stores for $2.8 billion in 2014, and has steadily been converting those locations to the Speedway brand.

Marathon — Speedway’s Findlay-based parent company — reported $2.85 billion earnings in 2015 or $5.26 per share in 2015, compared to $2.52 billion, or $4.39 per share, in 2014.

Gary Heminger, Marathon CEO, singled out Speedway’s progress in converting Hess stores during a conference call with investors Wednesday morning.

“The acquisition of these assets has been a high-value driver and has exceeded our expectations in almost every area,” Heminger said of the Speedway segment.

Speedway reported income of $135 million in the fourth quarter last year, compared to $273 million at the same time in 2014.

The decrease in income for the fourth quarter was attributed to lower gas margins, as well as higher operating expenses, according to the company. That was partially offset by an increase in merchandise margins. The chain has completed a significant portion of its conversion of former Hess stores along the East Coast and Southeast, Heminger said.

The acquisition included about 1,200 stores, roughly doubling Speedway’s size and making it one of the largest convenience store chains in the U.S.

Locally, the company has also spent about $9.1 million to renovate its Enon corporate offices and purchase a building at the NextEdge Applied Research and Technology Park in Springfield to house its additional employees after the merger.