Independent retail chain Park Garage Group is aiming to take its Park & Shop forecourt stores nationwide.

The retailer currently operates 82 stores mainly in the south of England, with a handful in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Lancashire.

In accounts filed at Companies House for the year to 30 June 2007, joint directors Balraj and Sunil Tandon said they aimed to make Park & Shop a national brand.

"We are looking at avenues to make our brand a national one," they said. "We intend to present Park & Shop as a 'life essentials' brand."

The group recorded a 21% fall in full-year pre-tax profit to £299,030 on turnover up 39.4% to £102.4m for the period. However, gross margin rose from 7.6% to 10%.

"We were able to achieve an increase in gross margin by maintaining focus and control on fuel retail prices and improving the product mix in our shops," they said.

The company attributed the drop in profit to the acquisition of 11 forecourt sites from Somerfield in 2007 and the conversion of seven sites. It spent £762,238 on shop refits and new pumps in 2007, up from £265,933 the year before.

However, they warned competition was stiff. "The consolidation by oil companies has given growth to supermarket stations and multiple independent dealers," they said. "Competition for site acquisition has pushed petrol stations' prices to high levels."