The major oil companies have been announcing bumper profits for 2005.Esso’s parent company ExxonMobil, had a record-breaking year, making a net income of $36.13bn – an increase of 43% on 2004. Shell also reported record results, with profits of $22.9bn. Soaring oil prices are said to be behind the increases. BP is due to publish its full-year figures later this month.

A garage claiming to be the UK’s first dedicated biodiesel garage has opened in central Manchester. The filling station has been leased by Manchester Biodiesel Co-operative and will trade under the name Green Gold Biodiesel. The garage says it is the first in the city to offer the fuel at the pump and the first in the country to sell only biodiesel. The site currently sells a 5% biodiesel blend, but plans to offer 100% biodiesel in the future. Drivers will be offered advice on the best blend to run on.

Independent fuel company BWOC Ltd and its managing director Mark Wayne are the latest to renew their corporate membership with Garage Watch. The company is currently working with the trade organisation on a project to help independents enhance their

shop sales.

Spar has launched an age restriction support pack for its retailers called ‘To Sell or Not to Sell’. The pack includes booklets for in-store training and wall charts highlighting age-restrictions on products. There are also yearly assessment forms to monitor staff awareness plus a sale refusal record and incident reporting record manuals.