Last year was a tough one for fuel and convenience retailers, and 2012 is unlikely to be much better," said Neale Smither, BP’s UK supply and retail manager, as he considered the year ahead.

"Best case in 2012 would be for industry fuel demand decline to stabilise at around (1-2)% [versus (3)% in 2011] and for convenience to have slightly positive growth versus flat like-for-like growth in 2011. 

"It’s worth bearing in mind that we did see positive growth in 2011 from food-to-go offers (including coffee), and the more advanced convenience shop offers, and we would expect these trends to continue." 

He said BP would continue to offer a fully integrated offer to dealers – including premium fuels, loyalty, coffee and convenience... "as we believe that, to have a future, service stations will need compelling offers in all departments".