Another successful Top 50 Indies dinner took place last month, and as we reach a milestone 10 years of the report, I thought it would be interesting to look back at the launch of the listing, which was first published in 2006.

As you can imagine, it makes for very interesting reading interesting not just to see which companies are still in it or those that are not; but also to look at the numbers. Ten years ago the Top 50 Indies accounted for just 933 sites that’s 9.8% of the market at that time, when there were 9,526 sites in the UK. Compare that with today’s figures of 2,123 sites in the listing, accounting for nearly 25% of the market and you can see how the landscape has changed in terms of forecourt ownership. During that period overall site numbers have fallen 10.8% to 8,494 today.

Through all that time, however, one company has dominated the listing - MRH, which was then known as the Malthurst Group. With 146 sites to its name, as well as ownership of Pace Petroleum which had 127, it was already well on its way to generating the eye-watering figures revealed in the latest report, before it was sold last month to Lone Star. Other familiar names who have consistently featured in the top ten of the listing since 2006 are Snax 24 (now Rontec) which had 73 sites (now 209); Park Garage Group which had 38 (now 59); and MPK Garages which had 26 (now 28). Particular success stories have been the Motor Fuel Group then 27, now 372; and Euro Garages then 30 now 361. HKS now number six in the listing with 61 was at number 20 with 10 sites. Gone are the names of Petrol Express its 63 sites were bought by Murco in 2008; and Calanike, which went into receivership in 2012 and its sites were acquired by Certas Energy (then known as GB Oils).

I could go on but there’s not enough room! But what our reports have revealed over the years is a strong core of indies who have built their businesses for the long term. Here’s to the next 10 years!