DCC, the conglomerate that owns Certas Energy, has reported operating profits up 7.3% to £494.3m for the year to 31 March 2020, on turnover down 3.1% to £14.8bn.

Its retail and oil division’s operating profits were up 4.9% to £140m and operating profits for its LPG division were up 13.1% to £228m.

The group reported that despite the coronavirus pandemic overall trade in March 2020 was strong, but later in the month there was reduced demand for retail transport fuels.

It said it had an extremely low level of debt of £60.2m – approximately 0.1 times net debt to EBITDA – leaving it well placed to navigate the current period of uncertainty and to continue its growth and development in coming years

Commenting on the results, Donal Murphy, chief executive, said: “I am very pleased to report that the year ended 31 March 2020 has been another year of strong growth for DCC. A good trading performance, excellent cash generation, strong returns on capital employed and continued acquisition activity are all hallmarks of DCC’s resilient business model.

“Covid-19 presents significant challenges to society and the economies in which we operate. The uncertainty it has created is like nothing we have seen in our lifetimes and our number one priority during this time is to keep our employees safe and well. All DCC businesses have and continue to operate effectively during this extraordinary period, ensuring our customers receive the range of essential products and services DCC provides. I am especially proud of all our people who are working tirelessly through these exceptional times. Even during this period of huge challenge, our people are fulfilling DCC’s purpose of enabling people and businesses to grow and progress.

“DCC’s diverse, resilient business model and financial strength ensures the Group is in a very strong position to navigate through this period of uncertainty. The Group continues to have the platforms, opportunities and capability for further development across each of our four divisions.”