Couche-Tard has also put an end to the bonuses offered to its employees

La prime avait été offerte aux employés nord-américains de Couche-Tard qui continuaient de travailler dans ses magasins ainsi que ses centres de distribution alors que le nouveau coronavirus provoquait de nombreuses fermetures.

The premium had been offered to employees in north america, Couche-Tard continued to work in its stores and its distribution centres so that the new coronavirus caused many closures.

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June 30, 2020 until 16h16

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Couche-Tard has also put an end to the bonuses offered to its employees

Julien Arsenault

The canadian Press

MONTREAL — like many retailers, large chain supermarkets, Alimentation Couche-Tard has put an end to the hourly premium of $ 2.50 per hour offered to its employees in north america, in the wake of the pandemic COVID-19.

In the framework of a telephone conference call to discuss results for the fourth quarter ended April 26, where net profits have almost doubled, the management of the multinational québec has indicated that the “wage premium emergency” had ceased to apply on June 12, the United States and June 22 in Canada, without providing more details.

It had been offered to employees paid on the hourly rate of the operator of convenience stores and service stations that were working in its stores and its distribution centres in Canada and the United States, so that the new coronavirus caused many closures.

“The temporary aspect of the premium has been communicated to our employees since its introduction and we have notified in advance of the date on which the marriage ends, June 21,” highlighted by e-mail, a spokesman for Couche-Tard, Laurence Myre Leroux.

She has added a special bonus, the amount of which has not been specified, will also be paid in July, to “thank” the employees “for their outstanding work during this difficult period”.

On its website, Couche-Tard says count some 109 000 employees within its north american network, which includes 9414 stores. This includes, however, office employees who were not entitled to the premium.

Since the beginning of the month, several retail and grocery chains, such as Metro, Loblaw and Sobeys announced the end of their special premium of $ 2 per hour. However, Lowe’s Canada has taken a different decision, Monday, in announcing that this bonus only affect the workers in the stores Réno-Dépôt and Rona will continue to be paid during the month of July.

Large quantities

In the fourth quarter, the company established in Laval has exceeded analysts ‘ expectations by posting a net profit of 576,3 US $million, or 52 cents per share, despite sales having declined 26.1 %, to $9.7 billion US, compared to the same period last year.

Because of the containment measures of the two sides of the border, Couche-Tard has seen consumers turn to formats larger size when the time had come to buy beer, alcohol as well as tobacco products such as cigarettes.

“With the closure of bars and restaurants, we have observed (this movement)”, has commented the president and chief executive officer of the company, Brian Hannasch, adding that the larger formats were always popular with the customers in spite of the relaxation of the measures of distance physical.

The company has seen a decline in customer traffic in the entire network due to the measures of social distancing implemented in the highest of the pandemic COVID-19, in mid-march. However, as pointed out by a number of retailers whose activities have been deemed essential during these closures, the sales of the goods have benefited from a higher average basket, which has helped to offset some of the decline in the number of visitors.

“Couche-Tard has posted solid results in an operating environment difficult, which demonstrates the resilience of its activities”, stressed the analyst Martin Landry, of the firm Stifel GMP, in a note sent to investors.

Excluding non-recurring items including a gain before tax of $41 million US related to a transfer of the assets, the gain adjusted Couche-Tard was $ 521 million US$, or 47 US cents per share, compared to $289 million US, or 26 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of last year.

Analysts had been pencilling in adjusted earnings per share of 43 cents and revenues of 9.36 billion US$, according to the firm’s financial data Refinitiv.

For the entire fiscal year 2020, Couche-Tard reported net profit of 353,6 million US$, an increase of 28.3 % compared to last year. Its turnover, however, has declined from five billion US$, said the company.

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