Topaz profits drop despite 19% rise in turnover

Topaz chairman Neil O’Leary says the petrol retailer hasn’t given up on ambitions to launch internationally
Topaz chairman Neil O’Leary says the petrol retailer hasn’t given up on ambitions to launch internationally

Topaz's profits have fallen by 7% compared to the previous 12 months, despite turnover rising by 19% to €2.8 billion



12 March 2012

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Ireland’s largest petrol retailer, Topaz, recorded a decline in profits last year, despite achieving a rise in turnover of 19% to €2.8 billion, due to the rise in global oil prices.

Topaz Energy Group Ltd reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €35.9 million in the year to the end of March 2011, down 7% on the previous 12 months. However this occurred against a backdrop of a 9% fall in fuel volumes overall in the sector due to the recession. 
Topaz’s cost of sales also rose sharply to €2.67 billion from €2.2 billion the previous year. The Irish Times reports Topaz’s latest accounts show that it made an after-tax profit of €4.6 million last year compared with €5.9 million a year earlier.
Commenting on the current financial year, which closes at the end of March, Topaz chief executive John Williamson said he expects fuel volumes to decline by another 7% as the effects of austerity measures in the economy continue to bite. He added however that Topaz was “trading in line” with the targets it had set at the beginning of the year and was “happy with that outcome”.
What’s more, Topaz paid down €14 million on its senior term debt last year, which stood at €130 million at the end of March 2011. Williamson said this would be reduced by another €19 million in the current financial year.
While seeking to accelerate the repayment of its debt, he said Topaz would also look for opportunities this year to increase the number of forecourts in its network.
The company added 12 filling stations to its network last year and currently has 113 company-owned sites and 197 dealers. Williamson said the group’s focus would be on new locations close to the national motorway network.
Topaz chairman Neil O’Leary added meanwhile that the company still has “ambitions” to launch the brand into other countries.


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