Despite drop in revenue for H1, Applegreen reports ‘growing confidence’

Since the height of lockdown in April, recovery at Applegreen has continued throughout summer with improved traffic volumes

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22 September 2020 | 0

While Applegreen traded “strongly and in line with management expectations” for the first 10 weeks of 2020, sales volumes dropped to 57% of the prior year period in April during the height of the Covid-19 lockdown, improving to 29% of the prior year in June.

According to chief executive Bob Etchingham, “this recovery has continued over the summer months with the further lifting of restrictions, government stimulus packages and the staycation trend, all of which has improved traffic volumes”.

Overall, interim results for the company showed revenue fell by 26.6% during the first six months to €1.1 billion in the first six months of this year, as compared with €1.5 billion the year before.

Meanwhile, the group recorded a loss of €26 million as against a profit of €7.4 million during the same period in 2019.

The Irish Times reports Applegreen  is now part of Empire State Thruway Partners, which has been awarded and signed a conditional 33-year lease for 27 motorway service areas on the New York State Thruway.

Although the terms of this deal have yet to be finalised, according to Bob Etchingham, this is an area “where a lot of growth will come from in the next two or three years” within the US.

The newspaper also reported Applegreen’s net debt stood at €550.7 million at the end of June, about 5.2 times Ebitda. CFO Niall Dolan said the company was not comfortable with this level, and intended to get leverage down to 2.5 times.

Overall, Applegreen remains optimistic, stating: “However, we look forward to the future with growing confidence whilst cognisant of the risks that may still impact the business in the future.”

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