Severe weather hits Applegreen’s ‘positive start’ to year
Company also highlights rising fuel prices as having negative impact on its business
Applegreen’s CEO Bob Etchingham, chief operations officer Joe Barrett and chief financial officer Niall Dolan at the company’s agm. Photograph: Shane O’Neill
Forecourt retailer Applegreen has had a positive start to the year, but has highlighted severe weather during March and rising fuel prices as having had a negative impact on its business.
The company, which has operations in the Republic, the United Kingdom and the United States, held its annual general meeting (agm) on Wednesday at the Herbert Park Hotel in Dublin 4.
Ahead of the agm, Applegreen chairman Daniel Kitchen issued a statement to say the company has continued to invest in the Republic.
“Applegreen had a positive start to the 2018 financial year, with trading results continuing to improve on the prior year,” he said.
“The severe weather in March, however, affected business across all our markets, but particularly in Ireland, while recent international fuel price increases have adversely impacted on fuel margins.
“The group has continued to invest in the estate, with a total of 24 sites being added to the portfolio since December 31st, 2017.
“Seven new sites were added in the Republic of Ireland, 14 new sites in the UK and three new sites in the US. Two of the new sites in the Republic were service areas.”
Mr Kitchen also said the company had reached agreement to lease a network of 43 petrol filling station sites from CrossAmerica Partners (CAP). These assets are all located in Florida.
Under the terms of the arrangement, Applegreen will enter into a long-term agreement to lease the property assets from CAP. This transaction is expected to complete, subject to a number of conditions during the third quarter of this year.
“We are delighted to build on our existing relationship with CAP given our continued focus on expanding our operations in the US market,” said Mr Kitchen.
“We believe this transaction provides us with the ability to leverage our operational expertise and enhance the retail offering at these locations.
“It also further increases our footprint in the southeast following our successful acquisition of the Brandi Group in South Carolina last October.”
Subject to shareholder approval, he said the company intends to pay a final dividend of 0.8c per share to shareholders on the register as of June 15th. This will be paid on July 5th. This will bring the total dividend for the financial year in 2017 to 1.4c per share.