MRH has not only retained the top spot in the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies, but also added more new sites than any of its competitors even after Euro Garages acquired 45 sites in January.

The leader accounts for 377 sites out of the total of 1,303 covered in this year’s Top 50, having added 52 sites over the year. Rontec held on to second spot despite a decrease over the year of 86 sites to 148, and Euro Garages moved up to third position after adding 50 sites since last year.

The fall-out from the ending of the Total’s cogop system led to several companies shedding significant numbers of sites, such as fourth-ranked Park Garage Group, which handed back 37 sites. But despite this turbulence, and opportunities presented by oil companies selling off sites, there was only one new entry in the Top 10, with Brobot Group moving up to number 10

Overall there were five new entries to the Top 50, with former MFG shareholders behind two of them. Sailesh Sejpal’s Platinum Retail was the highest new entry at 32, while Sharad Raja and Tony Head’s Highway Stops Retail came in at 49. Raiscorp and Intake Developments moved up from our Bubbling Under category to 38 and 42 respectively, and Lawrences Garages made a re-entry at number 50, having previously been in the Top 50 in 2011.

The biggest departure from the Top 50 was Hockenhull Garages. It was ninth in 2012 with 29 sites including 15 cogops, but managing director Peter Hockenhull was in the midst of making major changes to his portfolio as the Top 50 was being compiled, and predicted he would be back in the Top 50 next year. Calanike, which was ranked 14th in 2012, was the other major departure, after being bought out of receivership by GB Oils in September.