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Applegreen’s gross profit rose 20 per cent in the first six months of the year as the forecourt retailer, driven by strong fuel margins in Ireland and the UK, growth in food and store sales and ongoing expansion of its network.
Gross profit rose to €82.2 million from €68.5 million for the same period last year, though 4 percentage points were shaved off the growth rate by sterling weakness against the euro as currency markets continued to be impacted by Brexit.
The company opened 32 new sites during the six months, bringing its total network to 275 locations at the end of June. Subsequent to the reporting period, Applegreen reached a deal to add 42 sites around the city of Columbia in South Carolina as well as seven-site forecourt retail operation in the UK.
Like-for-like growth in food and store sales in the first half of the year rose by 10 per cent, while the company declared a maiden interim dividend of 0.6c per share, which will cost the group €500,000.
“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,” said Applegreen chief executive Bob Etchingham. “Overall, we remain confident in the prospects for the business in 2017.”