LAVAL, Que. — Quebec convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard aims to double its net earnings in the next five years.The company, which primarily operates under the Circle K banner, says it will achieve the target through a combination of organic growth and further acquisitions.Chief executive Brian Hannasch describes the goal as “ambitious” but one that can be achieved by remaining true to its core business while maximizing its strengths.Couche-Tard’s net profit grew 10 per cent last year to US$1.8 billion while adjusted earnings per share were up 27.7 per cent to $3.32 as revenues increased 15 per cent to US$59.1 billion.The retailer has become one of the world’s largest convenience store chains through a series of acquisitions and adoption of coffee, food and cold beverage programs that grew by double digits last year.Analyst Keith Howlett of Desjardins Capital Markets says doubling its profitability will depend on sustained sales momentum and expanded gross margins that will likely come from a shift in product mix to high margin food service. Companies in this story: (TSX:ATD.B)The Canadian Press
Junior midfielder Jesse King (19) cradles the ball during a game against Marquette Feb. 22 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. OSU won, 11-7.Credit: Brett Amadon / Lantern reporterThe Ohio State men’s lacrosse team dropped its second straight game this weekend.Unable to get things going, OSU (1-4, 0-0) lost as the Hofstra Pride (3-2, 0-0) defeated the Buckeyes 7-5 Saturday at Hempstead, N.Y.Despite getting off to a good start after freshman midfielder Sean Giampietro scored his first career goal at the 9:54 mark of the first quarter, the Buckeyes hit a wall.OSU went scoreless for more than 30 minutes and Hofstra scored four straight goals to take a 4-1 lead into halftime.Coming out of the break, the Buckeyes were unable to cut into the Pride’s lead as both teams traded man-up goals in the third. The man-up goal for junior midfielder Turner Evans was the Buckeyes’ first of the season.OSU was able to generate some offense in the fourth quarter, outscoring Hofstra 3-2, including two late goals from junior midfielder Jesse King and junior attackman Reegan Comeault , but it was too little too late as the Pride held on for the 7-5 victory.The win increased Hofstra’s winning streak to three games.Offensively, Hofstra was led by sophomore attackman Sam Llinares , who tallied three goals and an assist, and senior attackman Torin Varn, who scored twice for the Pride.The Buckeyes got a good performance from Evans, who had two goals and an assist. His 10 assists on the season lead OSU. King’s first quarter assist on Giampietro’s goal was the 100th point of his career at OSU, making him the 28th Buckeye to hit that mark.Freshman midfielder Jake Withers won 10 out of 15 faceoffs for the Buckeyes, who will look for more of that when they travel to Denver next week to take on the No. 12 Denver Pioneers.