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Irish forecourt operator Applegreen saw a 35% increase in gross profits in its first interim results as a listed company.

The firm, which listed on the London stock exchange in June, saw group revenues rise 16% to €517m during the six months to 30 June. Adjusted EBITDA grew by 42% to €10.7m, with gross profits rising 35% to €56.9m or 30% on a constant currency basis.

During the period it grew its estate from 152 sites to 175 as at 30 June 2015.

Bob Etchingham, CEO said: “Growth was evenly spread across both the Republic of Ireland and the UK, with the latter’s contribution also benefitting from the strength of sterling against the euro during this period.

“Trading since the end of June has been positive and while we expect the rate of growth in H2 to be lower than H1, we are on track to deliver results in line with market expectations.”

Applegreen shares fell 3.3% to 350p this morning, but the shares have been trading close to an all-time high of 364.75p and are still almost 18% up since launch.

Morning update

The BRC-Springboard Footfall Monitor for August saw lacklustre footfall again during the month.

Footfall in August was 1.6% lower than a year ago, down from the 1.1% fall in July. This was below the three-month average of -1.4%.

Both high streets and shopping centres reported a decline, falling 2.3% and 2.8% respectively. Footfall in retail parks increased 1.7% year-on-year, but this is the slowest increase since May 2015 and significantly below the three-month average of 2.5%.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium director general, said: “These numbers are a clear demonstration of the continued pressures the UK retail industry is facing. We know that retailers are steadily maintaining sales but at lower prices and to fewer people visiting physical stores.

“As we start the long march to Christmas, retailers will want to see an increase in shopper numbers in all store locations. Most will also be hoping for a decrease in any financial or regulatory burdens heading their way from government. These only make the job of getting the right products to UK consumers at the right price harder at a time when the hurdles to running a successful retail business are high enough.”

The FTSE 100 has opened 0.9% up at 6,175.3pts this morning, after last week recording its biggest weekly rise since July.

Most major stocks are up, including Coca-Cola HBC (CCH), up 2.4% to 1,376p, but Morrisons (MRW) has had a poor start to the week, falling 1.5% to 162.7p despite the positive general sentiment in the City. 

City diary

This week looks a bit of a slow week in terms of company updates after the market returned to life last week.

Of most interest is likely to be Ocado’s (OCDO) third quarter trading update tomorrow morning. The online supermarket is almost 14% down over the past month and its shares were hit again last Thursday when its partner Waitrose announced a sharp drop in online sales.

Elsewhere, there are AGMs of Whole Foods Market tomorrow and Poundland (PLND) on Thursday.

UK inflation figures are out tomorrow, while the UK’s latest unemployment statistics are released on Wednesday. Thursday brings the official UK retail sales for August from the Office of National Statistics.

Bank of England Governor Carney is scheduled to testify before the Treasury Select Committee on its latest inflation report on Wednesday.