Applegreen has reported that it has added 16 sites to its estate since the start of January and that it has a strong pipeline of new sites both in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

At the company’s AGM, Daniel Kitchen, chairman of Applegreen, said it had a positive start to the 2017 financial year both in terms of trading and the development of the business.

He said: “Our business in Ireland is delivering strong growth in non-fuel sales in particular while fuel margin experience has been in line with 2016. We continue to enjoy good growth in UK food sales as we expand our branded food offering.”

In the Republic of Ireland Applegreen has added four new petrol filling stations (PFS), one new service area and five dealer sites. In the UK it has opened three new PFS as well as its latest motorway service area in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

It has also opened two new PFS sites in the New England area of the US, and Kitchen said it has made very good progress in generating further opportunities to grow in that region. It has added to it management team to cater for the growth planned in the region.

Applegreen has also completed six rebrands/ upgrades so far this year including two former PFS sites in Great Britain that have been upgraded to trunk road service areas.

Kitchen added: “The pipeline of service areas continues to develop in both Ireland and the UK. We have a significant number of prospects in both core markets at various stages of the planning process and are confident of further expanding our businesses in each territory.”

He also revealed the company intended to pay a maiden dividend of 1.25c per share in June 2017. He said: “We committed to a prudent dividend policy at the time of our IPO and our financial performance since then warrants this move to deliver further shareholder value.”