A boost in profits of nearly 40% has been confirmed by Forecourt Trader of the Year winner Euro Garages, which attributes its success to a combination of strategic site acquisitions and the ongoing success of brand partnerships with Starbucks, Subway and Greggs.
Reporting results for the year to July 31, 2013, the Blackburn-based company also revealed a similar increase in turnover of 40% to £439million (2012: £314million).
The Top 50 Indie said sales were boosted by strong organic growth across the core estate alongside the acquisition in February of 45 Esso service stations, which expanded its presence across the North West, North East, Yorkshire and North Wales.
Total non-fuel sales for the year were £73million, a rise of 36% year-on-year (2012: £54million). This included an 83% rise in fast-food revenue, with the underlying fast-food business showing double-digit growth.
Profit (EBITDA) for the year increased to £18million, a rise of 38% on 2012’s total of £13million.
During the year, Euro Garages’ portfolio of forecourts increased to 120. The company rolled out 32 on-site Starbucks and 34 Subway outlets, with 45 of each brand expected to be operational by the end of 2013.
The growth in sales and forecourt portfolio has seen headcount at Euro Garages rise by 650 to 1,800, a third of whom are aged 16 to 24. During the year, 170 employees participated in the company’s training and apprenticeship programme to extend leadership and management opportunities and improve customer service and hospitality.
The company expects to sustain this growth and investment in people, with 600 new jobs planned in the next two years through a combination of new forecourt locations across the UK and the development of existing sites.
Zuber Issa, chief executive of Euro Garages, said: “The fuel market remains a tough place to be, but we continue to outperform the sector with our best-in-class retail offering on all our forecourts and exemplary customer service. The acquisition and development of sites has been transformational, offering us an increased presence in key regions and a chance to strengthen our brand partners who share our forecourt convenience vision.
“Looking ahead, we continue to set ambitious targets and seek new locations for Euro Garages sites. By the end of 2014 we aim to have a portfolio of more than 210 forecourt locations supported by an ambitious capital expenditure programme.”
Mohsin Issa, managing director of Euro Garages, added: “The business remains hugely cash generative and is supported by lenders with whom we have long-standing relationships, so we are maintaining our strategy of investing in new brand opportunities and developing our estate portfolio to offer the best forecourt retail experience in the UK.
“Our strategy is delivering results and performance for our brand partners, underlined by investment plans and consistent innovation in the forecourt retail convenience sector. We also have ambitious plans to create new jobs and offer our employees the additional support and training they need to exceed customer expectations.”
Earlier in 2013, Euro Garages was named Forecourt Trader of the Year for its Calder Park site, the second time it has collected the award.