Applegreen saw total UK food and store sales slip back from their strong performance last year, to +1.4% for the six months to 30 June 2019.

The convenience food and beverage retailer and forecast and motorway service station operator, put the weaker growth down to very strong comparators last year. Non-fuel gross profit in the UK business grew by 1.5%, on a constant currency basis, reflecting the mix being weighted more towards food in 2019.

This year’s H1 results incorporate the Welcome Break business which has seen strong revenue growth reported as a results, with total UK revenues up 127.8% and gross profit by 470.9%.

Applegreen acquired the Welcome Break business in October 2018, which saw several eating out brands added to its list of partnerships, including Starbucks, KFC, Pizza Express and Harry Ramsden.

The group said that overall Welcome Break has trading growth in its core catering brands, with the integration going well and significant additional recurring synergies have been identified, which will be delivered in full by end 2021

Group revenue increased by 73% to €1.5bn (70% on a constant currency basis), with gross profit up 145% €268.0m.

Like-for-like growth in non-fuel (food and store) revenue of 5.0% was achieved and non-fuel gross profit of 6.0% (constant currency).

Bob Etchingham, CEO said: “We are very pleased with our trading performance during the first half year especially from our core Applegreen business.

“Like for like revenue and profits from the underlying Applegreen estate, excluding Welcome Break, continued to show strong growth, whilst significant progress was made on the integration of the Welcome Break business acquired in the UK in Q4 last year.

“The delivery of anticipated synergy benefits is firmly on track and we see the opportunity for greater savings than originally expected going forward.”

The Group operates from 483 sites at 30 June 2019 (30 June 2018: 368 sites) in the UK and Ireland, and the US.