Fuel and forecourt operator Maxol Group has launched a €100 million investment programme, which forms part of the Irish company’s new 2023-2027 strategic plan.
The announcement comes after newly released figures for the company show a profit before exceptional items of €26.9 million in 2021, an increase of 57% on 2020 (€17.1 million).
Maxol Group CEO, Brian Donaldson said that the figures were influenced by unusual contributory factors including the proliferation of 'staycations' and people working from home.
As he explained at an event to launch the new investment plan, 2023 will present a more challenging business environment with the issue of energy costs remaining a priority for households and businesses alike.
“Consumer prices are also rising, but interestingly, in our sector we have not yet seen any significant contraction in customer spend, which is at odds with current economic indicators," he said.
“However, I believe that the real impact will be felt after Christmas. People will be more cautious as household budgets become squeezed, which will result in reduced consumer spend at the tills. This is where technology can play a role and we are likely to see an uptake in Maxol Loyalty App members."
This year will account for €12.5 million worth of capital expenditure within the group, with Maxol sites in Kilkenny and Cork being the most recent beneficiaries, with a spend of €2.8 million.
Donaldson confirmed that under the new strategic plan, Maxol hopes to acquire a number of new sites in 2023, which could result in the business growing to 250 service stations across Ireland.
In addition to site acquisition and streamlining operational efficiencies through technology, the planned €100 million investment plan will also be geared towards growing Maxol’s non-fuel incomes, with a focus on food and convenience retail.
In light of this, Maxol is calling for retail planning guidelines (introduced in 2012) to be updated, and for the cap on retail space in the forecourt and convenience sector to be removed.
“While we welcome the fact that there has been an intervention in the energy crisis with targeted supports through the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme, we’re calling on government to extend the scheme to at least summer 2023 and to remove the cap of €30,000 per month per business,” he said.
“This cap prevents businesses with multiple retail outlets of availing of the scheme. So many SMEs are struggling, and they need more Government support and certainty on energy costs.”
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Robert McHugh. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.