Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
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Investing to grow

The UK's biggest independent fuel retailers were out in force last month at The Belfry Hotel in Sutton Coldfield at the official dinner to launch the publication of Forecourt Trader's latest listing of the UK's biggest independent dealers. Highlights from the listing were revealed by managing director of Forecourt Trader, Lorraine Hendle and editor Merril Boulton, showing that the Top 50 Indies has continued its trend as a dynamic and buoyant sector. This is despite certain oil companies now targeting the same type of forecourt operations that the Top Indies themselves have set their sights on such as Phillips 66 which recently announced its intention to expand its co-owned network to 50-100 sites.

Major brands fuel growth

It has been a good 12 months for the dealer sector in the UK. All the fuel suppliers are fighting for dealer business with even the major brands seemingly happy to brand the small- to medium-size dealer sites they have largely ignored in the past. Oil companies have also been prepared to buy dealer sites with Harvest Energy acquiring HKS, Phillips 66 coming back into company owned with Nick Baker's five sites, and Certas Energy acquiring dealer sites for its Gulf Fuel Express network.

Change for the better

This year the top-level numbers would suggest that the forecourt sector has been fairly quiet over the past 12 months with the number of open sites being only three fewer than last year. However, you only need to scratch the surface to see that there have been a lot of changes culminating in February with the second largest dealer group, the Motor Fuel Group, buying the largest dealer group, MRH, for £1.2bn.

Essential roadside services

New research from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has shown the essential contribution that the UK's petrol forecourts make to the economy, to working people and to communities.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 30 March 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East118.96132.05114.52
East Midlands119.01131.46114.46
London119.6659.90134.71116.14
North East116.33131.57110.86
North West117.71131.66113.21
Northern Ireland113.94120.90108.13
Scotland117.18131.78111.83
South East120.0368.90132.46116.19
South West118.30130.34113.27
Wales116.8157.90127.95111.17
West Midlands118.8857.90135.85114.78
Yorkshire & Humber117.69131.84113.09

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