Ampol has released its first quarter financial results for 2021, which showed continued low fuel volumes but a strong performance from convenience retail.

Growth strategies in Fuels & Infrastructure International (F&I) and convenience retail continued to be successfully executed, with an increase of 11 per cent and three per cent respectively on the previous corresponding quarter.

Matt Halliday, Managing Director and CEO, Ampol, said this was a strong result considering the impact of the recent rise in crude oil prices.

“Volumes remained weak during the quarter given multiple snap COVID-19 lockdowns, however, we expect to see a recovery in Australian fuel demand as the year progresses,” says Halliday.

Convenience retail shop performance remains strong with shop sales up 10 per cent on a like for like basis versus the previous corresponding quarter. This remained consistent with the fourth quarter of 2020, despite the impacts from snap lockdowns.

Total Australian fuel volumes in the first quarter were five per cent lower than in the fourth quarter of 2020, given the impact of lockdowns across Brisbane, Melbourne and parts of Sydney, as well as flooding in NSW and Queensland. This was a 17 per cent decrease on the previous corresponding quarter.

Ampol maintains its Australian volume guidance of 13.5 – 14.0BL in 2021, reflecting an expected recovery in demand throughout 2021, with the volume run-rate in March within this guidance range.

Halliday said the Lytton refinery review remains on track with a decision on its future set to be announced in the second quarter of 2021.

“Lytton EBIT was breakeven in 1Q 2021, with ongoing weakness in regional refining margins. We remain on schedule to conclude and communicate the outcomes from the Lytton refining review in 2@ 2021 and are focused on maximising value for shareholders from this strategic asset,” said Halliday.

The rebranding from Caltex to Ampol is progressing well with 109 sites rebranded at the end of March and site volumes performing in-line with the surrounding network.

An additional five Metro@Ampol sites are planned to be delivered during the second quarter, with a further 15 planned for the second half.

Ampol was recently recognised with two major retail achievements at the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) Awards held at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne last week.

Ampol Woolworths Metro Kingsford won the 2021 AACS Corporate Store of the Year and the 2021 overall Store of the Year.

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