Ampol profits decline, plans to end MetroGo rollout

Ampol has posted a 26 per cent drop in its half-year profit as earnings from its Lytton refinery fell while shop and fuel sales grew.

The fuel giant said net profit after tax from continuing operations came in at $329.6 million on a replacement-cost basis for the six months ending June 30, compared with $444.7 million a year earlier.

Following the review of the pilot of 50 MetroGo stores, Woolworths and Ampol have agreed not to proceed with a broader rollout, and existing stores will be rebranded to Foodary over the coming months.

The company stated that the outcome of the review provides Ampol with greater flexibility to leverage the entire network to execute the next phase of Ampol’s retail strategy.

“Our immediate focus is on investment in new major highway sites, including Pheasants Nest, M4s and M1s. The two new marquee sites at Pheasants Nest are now open and construction is well progressed on the refresh of the M1 flagship sites which will include Ampol-operated Hungry Jack’s Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs).

“Over time, we also intend to take a more tiered approach to our Foodary offer to better meet the needs of our local customers as well as unlock the potential of QSRs across more of our premium network.”

Matt Halliday, Managing Director and CEO of Ampol, said Ampol has delivered another strong result through its strategy to build a more resilient business via growth in non-fuel and international earnings.

“The value of our integrated supply chain was on full display this period. The team adapted to the changing market conditions and a refinery outage to deliver a pleasing performance, while the ongoing improvement in convenience retail was another standout.”

Earnings in convenience retail were up 31 per cent to $167.1 million for the six months ending June 30, up from $127.3 million in the previous corresponding period.

Excluding tobacco, network shop sales grew 5.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis as key categories of coffee, snacks, beverages, and confectionery achieved strong growth. Average basket value continued to grow, more than offsetting the impact of reduced tobacco sales.

Shop gross margin also continued to improve, reaching 34.9 per cent post-waste and shrink through a combination of improved pricing, promotions, and product mix.

Fuels and infrastructure (F&I) earnings, excluding Lytton and Future Energy, grew by 54 per cent on a continuing basis, with total Australian sales volumes rising 13 per cent compared with the same time last year.

Turning to the Lytton refinery, its earnings before interest and tax came in at $100.3 million on a replacement-cost basis, which reflects the lower second quarter Lytton Refiner Margin of US$5.66 per barrel due to weak Singapore product cracks in April and May 2023 and the one-off impact of the Fluidised Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) outage.

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