Applegreen plc has announced that Michael O’Loughlin, managing director of its UK operating subsidiary PetrogasGroup UK Limited, has resigned to return home to Ireland. He will be replaced by John Diviney, effective 1 December 2016.

CEO Bob Etchingham commented: “Michael has been with the Applegreen business for 19 years and during that time has carried out a number of senior roles in the company and for the past eight years was managing director of our UK business.

“During that time Michael has built up a substantial estate and developed what is now a significant contributor to the Applegreen business.

“I know his many friends in the business in both Ireland and the UK will join me in wishing him and his family well in the future and he will be continuing to assist us in transitioning over the next few months.”

Under O’Loughlin the UK business has grown to 70 sites and in 2014 he was named Retailer Champion at the Forecourt Trader Awards after an online vote by readers.

The new UK managing director, John Diviney, is a PwC trained chartered accountant and was in charge of Applegreen’s corporate finance function during the flotation of the company.

Since then he has been head of food systems and trading in Applegreen. Etchingham said: “John has extensive development and acquisitions expertise and is well placed to continue the development of our UK business.”