Forecourt retailer Applegreen has posted a 26.6% decrease in group revenue in the first half of its financial year, but added that sales have shown 'positive momentum' since the period ended.
In the six months to 30 June, the business posted group revenue of €1.1 billion, while adjusted EBITDA more than halved to €25.3 million (compared to €58.9 million for the same period last year).
If the Welcome Break business is excluded, adjusted EBITDA was up 11%, it added.
All of its sites remained open during the coronavirus crisis, albeit with 'significantly reduced' food franchise offerings.
Since the period end, the group said that trading in the third quarter has been 'ahead of management's expectations', aided by government stimulus, increased traffic volumes and the trend towards 'staycations'.
As of the end of June 2020, Applegreen operated a total of 559 sites.
'Sudden And Significant'
Noting that the first half of 2020 was an "unprecedented period", chief executive Bob Etchingham noted the "sudden and significant impact on the business from mid-March" onwards.
"This was most pronounced in April and May, but volumes recovered well by the end of the second quarter," he said. "To help mitigate some of this impact, the group took swift and decisive action in managing our cost base and tailoring our retail offer for changing consumer needs.
"Encouragingly, this recovery has continued over the summer months with the further lifting of restrictions, government stimulus packages and the staycation trend, all of which has improved traffic volumes. This performance further demonstrates the resilience of our business model and of our sector."
Etchingham added that the business has "learned a lot" from the current crisis, "and are confident that we will emerge as a stronger organisation that is well positioned to benefit from future opportunities across all of our markets".
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.