Forecourt retailer Maxol posts profit surge for northern business in 2021

Forecourt retailer Maxol posts profit surge for northern business in 2021

THE northern division of Irish-owned fuel forecourt retailer Maxol more than doubled its profits in 2021, new accounts show.

Revenues at Maxol Oil Ltd bounced back by 29 per cent in 2021, hitting £208.9 million for the year to December 31 2021, well within range of its pre-covid annual performance.

But the firm’s pre-tax profits soared past pre-pandemic levels, jumping 138 per cent year-on-year to £9.5m, three times the pre-tax profit the firm recorded in 2018.

Maxol Oil Ltd is the forecourt and convenience retailer division of the Dublin-headquartered group, established in 1920 by William McMullan.

Its northern operation now spans 31 forecourts, almost all of which are owned freehold by the group. Maxol also has relationships with 69 other independent petrol stations around the north.

In a business review accompanying the accounts lodged with Companies House, Maxol’s directors said that unlike many other retailers, it had been able to continuing trading during several Covid lockdowns, albeit often at much lower activity levels than usual.

The company said it also benefited from the “substantial investment” and greater management focus over the previous five years, directed at improving its supply chain and developing its convenience and food service offerings.

“Combined with a recovery in domestic spending in the summer and second half of 2021, as businesses re-opened and many families chose to staycation in Ireland, these factors made a significant contribution to the outcome for the year."

The directors also paid tribute to the group’s staff and its “strong network of independent retailers”, adding that investing in “an ever-increasing focus on the non-petroleum product aspects of its operations will continue to help it navigate the many likely challenges” for the industry in the coming years.

Maxol’s profits were also potentially increased last year due to a freeze on capital investment programmes for much of the first half of the year.

Two additional service stations were however added in 2021.

The accounts revealed that Maxol Oil paid a £1.08m dividend to its parent company in Dublin last year, which was down on the £1.75m it paid in 2020.