New forecourt boosts sales at James Graven

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Sales at James Graven, the Cambridgeshire-based retailer owned by high-profile indie Jonathan James, rose 7.3% to £30.1m last year.

However, pre-tax profits fell 19% to £229,941 as falling fuel margins took their toll, revealed accounts for the year to 31 March 2012 made available at Companies House this week.

Turnover had been boosted by a full year’s trading from its Spar-branded forecourt in Littleport, which opened in November 2010, said the company in its report.

Falling fuel margins had been mitigated by an increase in shop margins, said James.

“The group achieved reasonable results despite the difficult economic conditions,” he said in the report.

“The rising cost of oil and the taxes imposed on fuel have caused the consumer and businesses to try and minimise their vehicle use and thus reduce the volumes of fuel sold and footfall into the shops.”

Last year, the Littleport site and three other forecourts were leased out to BP and Petrogas UK to allow the company to focus on other interests, including the creation of an eco-business park.

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