Applegreen Earmarks Further Expansion Following Welcome Break Acquisition
Forecourt operator Applegreen has its eye on further expansion in Ireland, the UK and the US this year, following the acquisition of a controlling stake in the Welcome Break business in 2018.
In its annual report, the business said that its UK service area development pipeline has been transferred to the Welcome Break business, and all future service area development activity in the UK will occur in Welcome Break.
As of the end of last year, Applegreen said that 89% of its Republic of Ireland estate and 59% of its estate in the UK were branded as Applegreen or Welcome Break sites.
In the US, where the majority of its sites are operated under a third-party fuel brand, the group has partnered with 7-Eleven for selected sites, with nine convenience stores converted to 7-Eleven as of the end of last year.
Year Of Acquisitions
As well as the Welcome Break acquisition last year, which comprises 34 motorway service area sites, three trunk road service area sites and 29 hotels in the UK, the business also acquired 43 leasehold sites in Florida from CrossAmerica Partners, in September 2018, and seven sites in South Carolina from Getty Realty, which was completed in August 2018.
The group posted revenue of €2.0 billion last year, with a 55% increase in gross profit.
"We have a good pipeline of further developments of both Service Area sites and Petrol Filling Stations across our markets," commented Robert Etchingham, the group's chief executive.
"Trading conditions remain generally good despite uncertainty caused by macro events. We anticipate another year of robust growth for the business. Our primary focus will be on the integration of Welcome Break and further reducing leverage but we will also continue to evaluate new opportunities to further expand the business in the future."
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.