Growth in convenience retail and fast food sales boosted revenues at Euro Garages, one of the UK’s largest independent forecourt retailers, according to its latest annual trading update.
Total sales for the Blackburn-based group rose to £314m (2011 – £305m) in the 12 months to July 31, 2012. It said sales at its Spar convenience store network increased 2.5% while its fast food franchises, which include Starbucks, Subway and Burger King, were ahead by 10%. Combined, non-fuel revenues accounted for £55m of turnover (2011 – £50m).
Euro Garages, which operates predominantly BP-branded forecourts, said fuel volumes were marginally behind last year, although remained ahead of the overall market which is showing a reduction of around 10%.
Non-fuel sales were also responsible for a rise in profit (EBITDA) to £13m in 2012 (2011 – £12m) while the group’s continued expansion created 350 new jobs over the 12 months, taking its employee base to 1,150.
Following its announcement last year of a five-year agreement with Starbucks to open 100 additional drive-thrus, Euro Garages said its roll-out plan was firmly on track with 20 outlets already trading successfully.
As regards future expansion, the company has built a significant pipeline of site acquisition opportunities which it would be pursuing in the current financial year. Last year, Euro Garages agreed a £110m lending facility with Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets to accelerate its consolidation of the forecourt sector.
The group opened three ‘new to market’ forecourts during the financial year – at Uttoxeter, Handford and Regent’s Park. Euro Garages has also invested £10m upgrading its existing forecourt estate, with major redevelopments at sites in Kettering and Yorkshire set to complete next year.
Zuber Issa, ceo of Euro Garages, said: “Despite challenging conditions for retailers across the UK, we’ve continued to make excellent progress in growing sales from our existing estate and improving margins. This is testament to the quality of our forecourt offering, the strength of partnership brands, our value for money proposition and the standard of customer service delivered by our people on the front line.”
Moshin Issa, managing director of Euro Garages, added: “Retail and fast food continue to represent a significant growth opportunity for our business and have been a driving force behind the increase in sales and profit performance in the past financial year. This, combined with new innovations on the forecourt, remains a primary focus as we continue to expand the estate across the UK in 2013 and beyond.”