Applegreen said that it has temporarily reduced headcount by more than 4,800 employees in both Ireland and UK, from a current total of approximately 11,500 group employees, under the respective government job retention scheme.
The roadside convenience retailer also announced that it has implemented a recruitment freeze, in a recent statement.
2019 Financial Results
The company reported 'another very strong performance' for its 2019 financial year, which 'benefited from a positive like-for-like performance and prior year acquisitions'.
The groups revenue showed a 53% increase to the value of €3.1 billion compared to 2018, its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2019 showed.
It attributed the positive result to the expansion of its portfolio of 'world class brand partnerships', the generation of very good levels of organic like-for-like growth, building an increased presence in strategic service areas and the successful completion of a large-scale back office systems transformation.
The divisional business units recorded strong volume growth, which was accompanied by margin improvements, leading to enhanced profits and earnings per share, the company said.
Welcome Break Acquisition
In particular, the core Applegreen estate (excluding the Welcome Break acquired assets) achieved strong earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) growth of 21% year on year.
"We are very pleased with our trading performance and the strategic development of the Group in 2019 where we successfully integrated a number of important acquisitions, expanded our footprint in the US and significantly reduced our reliance on fuel by continuing a shift in focus to convenience retail and food on the go," said Bob Etchingham, chief executive officer.
According to Etchingham the company's divisional business units recorded strong volume growth, which was accompanied by margin improvements, leading to enhanced profits and earnings per share.
"We are highly conscious of the considerable uncertainty created by the current COVID-19 crisis but are confident in the defensiveness of our business model and the strength of our balance sheet and liquidity," he said.
"Therefore, we are positive about navigating the company through this crisis and building our business for the long term."
Etchingham added: "The ultimate impact of the pandemic is unclear at this stage but we are taking definitive steps to follow the relevant guidance from the authorities whilst ensuring we are also taking the right actions to ensure the Group remains as resilient as possible to the challenges, and is well positioned for when normal conditions resume."
'Significant Cost Mitigation'
Applegreen said that it is benefiting from the UK government property rates moratorium for twelve months representing a very significant cost mitigation in its UK estate.
It's Irish revenue has also announced a two-month deferral of property rates.
The company said that it will reduce repairs and maintenance costs, a large component of the cost base, to minimal levels.
It will also also implement very tight management of working capital with a focus on reducing inventory levels and working with suppliers on payables.
The company has also deferred executive director bonuses.
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