I have often been asked what keeps me up at night? My answer is always the same: How do we protect and strengthen our culture at Couche-Tard? Our culture is the secret sauce that has helped us grow from a single store in Canada to one of the world’s leaders in convenience and mobility, and it is also the backbone that has given us the strength to prosper and lead for over four decades.
Alain Bouchard and his partners started our company 42 years ago with a certain set of guiding values, which have shaped us through the years. As we continue to become a bigger global company, we challenged ourselves this year to verbalize and share those values to continue growing together. I want to share with you those Values We Live By as they are essential to how, in this year of incredible disruption, we were able to play to win.
In my almost eight years as President and CEO, this has been among the most difficult and the most rewarding. The challenges were immense – from a worsening pandemic and historic staffing and supply chain obstacles followed by war and a once unimaginable humanitarian crisis impacting countries where we live and operate. Yet, by following the Values We Live By, we had record-breaking financial success, innovated for the future of convenience, grew our fresh food program, and expanded our Circle K fuel brand and mobility footprint.
All the while, our people remained at the heart of our culture, and this year we renewed our commitment to our frontline workers and customers, putting operations first. We took ownership of the situation, and by the end of the fiscal year, we saw significant improvement in recruiting and turnover trends at all levels of our operational teams including store managers and assistant managers and customer service team members. We did this through targeted actions on compensation, retention, training, and benefits as well as stepping up our leadership development programs. And we embraced technology and partnerships, making it easier to keep our stores stocked and enabling store team members to focus on improving the customer experience.
I am particularly proud that during a year marked by global turmoil, we never wavered from our strategic priorities and achieved record-high levels of employee engagement. We stayed true to our sustainability journey, played an essential role in the health and safety of our communities, and created strong growth in convenience and mobility. I am confident that our winning culture is ready for another successful year ahead, and I want to say thank you to all our team members, customers, and shareholders for working together with us as One Team, taking ownership, doing the right thing, and playing to win.