Share boost for Applegreen but Brexit fears loom

Shares in fuel retailer Applegreen rose more that 4% yesterday as it reported a 20% increase in profits for the year to the end of June, compared to the same period last year.

Chief executive Bob Etchingham warned that customers in the UK, an increasingly key market along with Ireland and the US, have become “nervous” because of Brexit.

Applegreen said it will continue to look at potential acquisitions in Ireland, the UK, and US, adding that an upturn in construction has been a boon to its foodcourt offering in the Republic, where it has a market share of around 15%.

Gross profits for the first half of the year were €82m, while revenue was up 21% to €672.5m. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation increased 28% to €16.6m.

Some 32 sites have been added to Applegreen’s stock in 2017, making 275 in total.

The firm said its Irish food offering had improved due to a rise in construction, while its UK profits improved due to a rebound in fuel margins.

Mr Etchingham said the firm would continue to “identify opportunities for growth across our three markets”.

He added: “We now have a good platform for growth in each of our three markets and are well positioned for the seasonally important second half of the year.”

In January, Applegreen paid €15.7m for a 50% stake in the Joint Fuels Terminal in Dublin Port, which it says will allow it to import fuel directly from refineries.

In July, Applegreen leased 42 sites in or close to the city of Columbia, South Carolina, including 34 petrol stations with 11 Burger King outlets. The company has stations in Long Island, New York, as well as New England.

Last month, it bought seven sites along the A1 motorway in the UK.

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