Family business Symonds Forecourts has predicted a levelling out of fuel prices once unleaded hits about £1 in the coming weeks.
Jeremy Symonds, chief executive, was commenting after the business posted full-year EBITDA up 29% to £888,000 on turnover up 3.9% to £37m.
Sales over the past 12 months had been “very solid” and “very strong” over Christmas when fuel sales rose 9% and shop sales 6%, he said.
The average price of a litre for unleaded at Symonds Forecourts stood at 109p for unleaded and 115p for diesel on Tuesday. Symonds said fuel deflation was having “very little” effect on the business. “Demand is much the same, margin is much the same. If anything, as a retailer it is positive because as the price goes down, you are using less cash to provide your stock. In general terms it is good news as a retailer because consumers are happy because they are paying less for the product.”
Symonds has nine forecourts operating mostly in the South West under names such as Young’s Garage, and Budgens of Wells. Three sites feature Budgens stores and five, Londis outlets.
Symonds said: “We are keen to develop some more sites. Our primary aim is to continue to acquire high volume petrol forecourts where we can develop a strong shop offer. It is more about quality than quantity and depends on what’s available.”