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Rising traffic trends ‘a positive’ for Applegreen

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Widespread: Applegreen has almost 500 sites in Ireland, the Uk and US. Pictured is Joe Barrett, the company’s chief operating officer

Widespread: Applegreen has almost 500 sites in Ireland, the Uk and US. Pictured is Joe Barrett, the company’s chief operating officer

Widespread: Applegreen has almost 500 sites in Ireland, the Uk and US. Pictured is Joe Barrett, the company’s chief operating officer

Improving traffic volumes in Ireland and the UK are a positive for forecourt retailer Applegreen as it slowly moves back to normal trading levels, according to a note from Goodbody.

Recent data suggest traffic during weekdays had remained steady or shown a slow improvement, having been hit hard by the Covid-19 lockdown, according to Jason Molins, an analyst at Goodbody.

The tepid pace at which traffic volumes are rising during the week is likely because many people are continuing to work from home and schools remain closed.

Weekend traffic, however, has shown strong improvement as the easing of restrictions and good weather has encouraged people to visit public places such as parks and beaches, according to the note. More car use will boost demand forecourt services.

In Ireland, traffic trends were mixed last week as the country continued to open up under phase three of its return to normality.

For the UK, traffic data for June 25 to July 5 showed a slight improvement from prior week driven by weekend traffic levels, the note from Goodbody said.

“These improving traffic trends are a positive for Applegreen as business gradually edges back to normal levels,” Mr Molins said.

“We also believe that due to Covid-19 restrictions, holiday-

goers during this summer season are likely to look for staycation options closer to home, which should particularly benefit Applegreen’s Welcome Break sites in the UK,” he added.

Last week the group, headed by Bob Etchingham, said its Applegreen business was trading ahead of Covid-19 projections for May and June.

The company said its performance has been helped by strong shop sales at its filling stations, good fuel margins and “extensive” cost-saving measures.

Applegreen, with almost 500 sites in Ireland, the UK and US, has reopened a large number of its food and beverage offerings to meet demand as travel restrictions started to ease from June.

Shares in the company failed to get a boost from the note and were down over 7pc yesterday in Dublin.

Irish Independent