ANKENY, IOWA — Price increases for select items helped Casey’s General Stores, Inc. to a total average margin of 62% in Prepared Food and Foundation in the third quarter ended Jan.  31. The convenience store chain known for pizza also benefited from lower cheese input costs.

In Prepared Food and Fountain, total revenue increased 7% to $256.1 million, and same-store sales were up 1.5%.

“We still have the price increases that are benefiting us,” said William J. Walljasper, senior vice-president and chief financial officer, in a March 12 earnings call. “We took one, just as a reminder, back in May that we'll cycle against here in a few months. We also took one in donuts in the month of July.”

He added Casey’s did not lock in on cheese prices in the quarter.

“We made a conscious decision to buy on the spot market, and that has benefited us tremendously here in the third quarter, and we believe it will continue to benefit us in the fourth quarter as well,” Mr. Walljasper said. “We will still, however, continue to look at opportunities to lock in a portion of our cheese as we move forward.”

Lower commodity costs give Casey’s flexibility in pricing and promotions, he said.

“So I know that our market teams are working with that as well,” Mr. Walljasper said. “Can’t give you any specifics as what they have done with respect to that.”

Companywide in the third quarter, Casey’s report net income of $41.8 million, or $1.14 per share on the common stock, which was down 78% from $193 million, or $5.13 per share, in the previous year’s third quarter. Third-quarter total revenue was $2,048 million, down 0.3% from $2,054.6 million.

Mr. Walljasper said the company will look at other potential opportunities for price increases going into fiscal 2020.