Topaz profits hit €13.3m Euro as it gears up for rebrand

The Topaz forecourt retailing chain, soon to be formally rebranded as Circle K following its acquisition in 2015 from Denis O'Brien by Canada's Couche-Tard, posted a pre-tax profit of €13.3m in the 16 months to the end of April last year, newly-filed accounts show.

Revenue at Circle K Retail for the period was €215.8m. The accounts note that the turnover is derived from the sale of petroleum products and convenience store items.

There are more than 420 Topaz forecourts across the island of Ireland, with one of the group's main competitors being stock market-listed Applegreen.

Mr O'Brien sold Topaz to Alimentation Couche-Tard in a deal that involved almost €260m in cash, with the Canadian group also assuming long-term debt of about €133m and other debt tranches.

It had been speculated at the time of the sale that the enterprise value of the deal, including equity and debt, was about €450m.

That was about twice the amount Mr O'Brien invested in Topaz to secure control of it from the special liquidators of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, in 2013.

As Couche-Tard announced its plan to buy Topaz, the Irish forecourt retailer also finalised a €75m acquisition of a chain of Esso outlets here.

Mr O'Brien owned 90pc of Topaz, with his nephew, Emmet O'Neill, owning the remainder.

The Topaz outlets in Ireland are all being rebranded as Circle K this year.

Topaz has said that the move will further strengthen the chain's position in the Irish market. Couche-Tard uses the Circle K brand at more than 12,000 sites around the world.

Next week, the Circle K brand will be officially launched in Ireland. Topaz, whose managing director is Niall Anderton, will be known as Circle K Ireland. The launch will be attended by the group president of European operations at Circle K, Jacob Schram.

In June last year, Couche-Tard injected a total of €303m into Topaz.

The group is shifting some global functions to Ireland from countries including Norway and Luxembourg. That has resulted in more senior roles at its head office in Ireland.