Top 50 Indie Applegreen achieved sharply increased turnover and profits in the six months ended 30 June 2018, and is gearing up for major expansion in the UK.

Its interim results show group revenue increased by 27% to €854.9m, compared with the same period a year earlier, and adjusted EBITDA (earning before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) increased by 17% to €19.4m.

During the half year the company grew its estate by 26 sites to 368 sites, and opened 14 new food outlets to bring the total to 274.

It also agreed deals for two large acquisitions which are expected to complete by the end of the year. It exchanged contracts for the reverse takeover of UK motorway service area operator Welcome Break and struck a deal to lease a network of 43 petrol filling stations in Florida from CrossAmerica Partners.

CEO Bob Etchingham,said: “We are pleased with the performance of our business during 2018. Applegreen is entering an exciting phase of growth in the UK service area market with the recent announcement of the Welcome Break transaction. This will be transformational for Applegreen by giving us critical mass in a key market and is expected to close in Q4 2018.

“The business continued to expand in each of our three markets as we increased our estate by 26 sites to a total of 368 locations trading at the end of the period. We opened seven new sites in the Republic of Ireland, 15 in the UK and four in the US in H1 2018.

“Our financial performance for the first six months of 2018 has been robust notwithstanding the difficult trading conditions caused by the exceptional weather in March, especially in our Irish business. Apart from the impact of this one-off event, the underlying business continues to perform well and we remain confident in the prospects for the business in 2018.”

As at 30 June 2018, Applegreen operated 368 forecourt sites and employed about 5,300 people.