Applegreen confident in growth

Applegreen PLC on Tuesday reported higher revenue and profit for 2017 and said it is confidentfor further progress in 2018.

The petrol forecourt retailer reported a pretax profit of EUR22.0 million in 2017, up from EUR19.5 million the prior year, as revenue rose 21% to EUR1.4 billion from EUR1.2 billion.

The company said that results were driven by strong fuel margin in both the Republic of Ireland and the UK, positive performance of recent acquisitions, and good like-for-like growth in food and store sales.

In the Republic of Ireland, revenue rose 12% and gross profit by 17%, with like-for-like food and store sales up 4.6% year-on-year. Total fuel gross profit rose 21% compared to 2016 and increased 14% on a like-for-like basis due to the impact of a strong fuel margin environment and the 50% of Joint Fuels Terminal acquisition in July.

In the UK, revenue rose 31%, and gross profit rose 28% on a constant currency basis, largely driven by a stronger fuel margin environment, though Applegreen didn't specify those margins.

During 2017, Applegreen expanded its portfolio with 99 new sites, with 22 of them located in Republic of Ireland, 20 in the UK and 57 in the USA. The company also said it upgraded 18 sites in 2018 by adding one or more new food outlets at each site. At the end of 2016, the company had 243 sites.

The Dubin-based company proposed a final dividend of 0.80 euro cents per share for 2017, bringing the total payout to 1.40 euro cents per share.

Applegreen Chief Executive Officer Bob Etchingham said: "We are very pleased to report another strong set of results for the business as we continue to deliver on our growth strategy. This performance was underpinned by positive like for like growth, particularly in the Republic of Ireland, ongoing expansion of our estate and an enhanced fuel margin resulting from our acquisition of a 50% stake in the Joint Fuels Terminal in Dublin Port."

In the current year, Applegreen said it already has added 11 sites to its network and plans to continue development.

"We are confident in the prospects for the company in 2018 as our underlying business continues to perform well, and we further evolve our growth strategy. The significant acquisitions completed in 2017 are performing as expected and we are well placed to progress both our organic and acquisition led development plans in the coming year," Etchingham added.