UK bakery chain Greggs to debut here at Dublin Applegreen outlet
Britain's largest bakery chain, Greggs, is to trial its first outlet in Ireland with plans to open in an Applegreen forecourt retail outlet in north county Dublin.
The outlet is due to open later this year or early in 2016, Applegreen chief operations officer Joe Barrett told the Irish Independent.
The decision to trial Greggs in the Republic comes after the success of its first outlet on the island of Ireland, which opened at a new Applegreen motorway service area on the M2 in Belfast.
That service station - Applegreen's first in Northern Ireland - opened in April and has been operating strongly, while Greggs has been happy enough with the performance of its outlet there to spread its wings south of the border.
Mr Barrett was speaking as Applegreen issued its maiden set of results as a stockmarket- listed company. It floated in Dublin and London in June, raising €65m.
In the six months to the end of June, revenue climbed 16pc to €517m, while adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were 42pc higher at €10.7m.
Of its revenue in the first half, €295.2m was generated in Ireland, and €218m in the UK. Applegreen also operates four forecourts in the United States, which posted revenue of €4.3m.
Applegreen, whose chief executive is Bob Etchingham, operates a total of 175 outlets and has about a 12pc share of the Irish motor fuel market. It opened 23 outlets between Ireland and the UK in the first half of 2015.
In the first half of the year, like-for-like store and food revenue at its outlets in Ireland rose 5pc, and like-for-like gross profit was 7pc higher at €40.7m. The like-for-like margin on its gross fuel profits fell 3pc due to euro fuel price volatility.
In the UK, where Applegreen is focusing the bulk of its expansion efforts, like-for-like food sales rose 5pc on a constant currency basis, while the fuel gross margin was 16pc higher on a constant currency basis.
Applegreen chief financial officer Paul Lynch also said that lower fuel costs don't necessarily have any significant impact on the group.
He said that while the price of fuel has fallen at the pump, that coupled with economic recovery, hasn't resulted in significantly higher volumes of fuel being sold. He said he expects the volumes of fuel being sold here to remain broadly flat in the next few years.
"There's no significant increase in fuel volumes nationally," he said, pointing out that newer vehicles are also more fuel efficient.