Fuel and forecourt operator MOL Group has reported a 72% decline in EBITDA at its Consumer Services division in its second quarter, due to the introduction of price cap legislation in several of its key markets.
However, the division also reported a 16% increase in sales volumes in the period, while transaction numbers were 9% higher than in the corresponding quarter the previous year.
In the first quarter, its Consumer Services division, which includes its forecourt business, saw EBITDA down 44%.
The group continued to roll out its Fresh Corner forecourt locations, increasing its store count to 1,103 outlets in the second quarter, up from 1,081 in Q1.
Overall, the group reported EBITDA of $1.35 billion in the second quarter, and $2.18 billion in the first half, which it described as an 'overall strong result considering the volatile, unpredictable and uncertain external environment'.
Commenting on its performance, chairman and CEO Zsolt Hernádi said, “The second quarter of 2022 was again a period that brought unprecedented uncertainty for the whole energy industry. Our duty of maintaining security of supply in several Central and Eastern European countries became the number one priority and we were able to deliver it in the last months as well.
"However, MOL’s businesses suffer from the state interventions across Central and Eastern Europe, putting pressure on our financials and operations. On the other hand, it is reassuring that even in these crisis-hit months we were able to deliver in line with our plans, we are on the right track to achieve our goals and that regulatory measures do not hinder our investment plans."
The European Union recently announced it was launching a probe into Hungary's fuel-price cap, which applies to those with local licence plates, saying it goes against the principles of the Single Market.