Forecourt retailer Applegreen has reported a 27 per cent rise in first-half revenues to €854.9 million , a period in which it added 26 sites to its portfolio.

The group, whose shares surged 29 per cent last year, said it was entering an exciting phase of growth in the UK service area market with the recent announcement of its €362 million deal to acquire a 55 per cent stake in Welcome Break.

Applegreen, which has operations in the Republic, the UK and the US, said adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) increased by 17 per cent to €19.3 million in the first half compared to €16.5 million for the same period a year earlier.

Gross profit rose by 33 per cent to €10.9.2 million with like-for-like growth of 3.5 per cent in non-fuel gross profit.

Pretax profits edged up from €8.9 million to €9.1 million.

The company declared an interim dividend of 0.63 cents per share, as against 0.60 cent per share for the first half last year.

“The business continued to expand in each of our three markets as we increased our estate by 26 sites to a total of 368 locations trading at the end of the period.

We opened seven new sites in the Republic of Ireland, 15 in the UK and four in the US in the first half of 2018,” said chief executive Bob Etchingham.

Revenue in the Republic increased by 5.8 per cent and gross profit was up 10.9 per cent in the first half, the company said as UK turnover rose by 33 per cent with gross profit climbing by 26.5 per cent..

Applegreen said it had added four new stand-alone sites to its portfolio since the end of the first half, as well as completing the acquisitions of a seven site group based in South Carolina and a network of 43 petrol filling stations in Florida.

“We have a good pipeline of further developments of both service areas and petrol filling stations across our markets,” it said.

The original post appeared on The Irish Times