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Susser expects 5.8 pct. rise in key sales figure

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) -- Convenience store chain Susser Holdings Corp. anticipates merchandise sales at stores open at least a year rose about 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

This is higher than the prior-year period's 5 percent increase.

For the full year, the company expects to report that merchandise sales at stores open at least a year climbed approximately 6.6 percent.

Susser said Tuesday that it opened 10 new Stripes convenience stores in the fourth quarter, giving it a total of 25 new retail stores for the year.

The Corpus Christi, Texas, company had 559 Stripes stores at year's end. It anticipates building 29 to 35 new Stripes stores in 2013.

Susser Holdings is also a majority owner in Susser Petroleum Partners LP, which distributes fuel to Stripes stores.

Its shares closed at $28.79 on Monday. Its shares are down from its 52-week high of $39.77 in mid-September. They traded as low as $22.23 almost a year ago.