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Rising through the ranks

In what has already been a hectic year for businesses in Forecourt Trader's Top 50 Indies, another twist has just been added by HKS more than doubling in size to just under 60 sites in just three months.

World class

Euro Garages' rapid growth in the UK since its formation in 2001 has already propelled it into third spot in the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies, and now it is aiming to become a leading player on a bigger stage. after a private equity firm agreed to invest in the company.

Pumping up the future

With Shell signing a deal for hydrogen refuelling stations (HFSs) at three of its sites, and Toyota launching its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in the UK, a new kind of fuel is finally gaining a little traction in this country.

Deferred justice

Brobot Petroleum, a Top 50 Indie which operates 23 filling stations in the Midlands, has successfully appealed via the First Tier Tax Tribunal against HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) imposition of unreasonable conditions to obtain an excise duty Deferment Account Number: Oil Products.

Mind the gap

Over the past few months, as the gap in wholesale prices for diesel and unleaded petrol has narrowed, a debate has raged between motoring organisations and retailers as to whether drivers were paying too much for diesel.

Growth attracts investors

Just days after Forecourt trader published its Fuel Market Review 2015, two big deals endorsed the Review's observation that "all the signs continue to be positive for the retail forecourt sector in the UK".

Delivering growth

Last month Booker Group plc surprised the industry by announcing a deal with Irish food wholesaler Musgrave Group plc, to buy its British offshoot, Musgrave Retail Partners GB which comprises the Londis and Budgens businesses for £40m. Completion of the acquisition is conditional on the approval of the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) and Booker has already entered into talks with the CMA on the first 40 working day stage of this process. It is a process that Booker is familiar with as it had to clear the same hurdle when it took over the struggling Makro cash and carry business in 2013.

Shell sell-off completed

Little more than a month after Esso announced it had agreed deals to sell off its remaining 201 company owned sites to independent dealers, another swathe of oil company sites is heading for the independent sector, after Shell concluded deals to sell 185 of its forecourts.

MFG unveils new strategy

Last month Top 50 Indie MFG announced plans to remove the Murco brand from all of its company-owned sites, and develop it as a brand exclusively for dealers.

Stormy seas ahead?

After one of the most volatile quarters on record for fuel prices, International Petroleum Week in the middle of last month was perfectly timed to bring some clarity to the turmoil, and give dealers some guidance on what may happen to prices in the months ahead.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 21 October 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East131.6457.90138.61127.24
East Midlands131.4582.90140.26127.28
London131.3759.90140.88127.80
North East130.33141.51126.31
North West130.8257.70140.42127.09
Northern Ireland129.08132.76125.41
Scotland131.52137.33126.92
South East132.2771.90140.82127.99
South West131.36137.85127.21
Wales130.48135.82126.30
West Midlands131.0761.40139.08127.20
Yorkshire & Humber130.7584.90140.34126.99

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When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?

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