Viva Energy’s acquisition of Coles Express has helped the company grow convenience and mobility (C&M) earnings by 40 per cent to $123.7 million.
The company-operated network, which was previously operated by Coles Express, achieved 3 per cent growth in weekly fuel volumes to 58 million litres on the prior year, with further growth coming from the extension of the Liberty Convenience network, which now has 95 stores nationwide.
Total convenience sales experienced a slight decline by 0.9 per cent in 1H2023 to $549 million, but excluding tobacco, grew 8.7 per cent with strong growth from food-to-go, snacks, and beverage categories.
Viva, which acquired the Coles Express retail convenience business in May, plans to add OTR’s network of stores by the end of the year, pending approval from the ACCC.
Scott Wyatt, CEO and Managing Director at Viva Energy, said that together these acquisitions will see Viva become one of the leading convenience retailers in the country. Viva has proposed to divest 23 Coles Express sites in Adelaide to expedite the approval process.
“The acquisition of Coles Express and OTR are transformational steps towards our vision to become a convenience retailer that sells energy, rather than a fuel retailer that happens to sell convenience.
“To achieve this, we’re bringing together the best of Coles Express and OTR businesses to establish a leading convenience retailer in Australia and accelerate our plans to grow in what we see as a very attractive market.”
The completion of the company’s $350 million new ultra low sulphur gasoline (ULSG) project has been pushed back until mid-2025 due to delays of sourcing critical components from suppliers with high levels of demand for their services.
The delay means that Viva won’t meet new national emissions guidelines that start next year, with Wyatt stating the company are planning to submit a waiver request with the federal government for the intervening period.
“I’m fairly confident that we’ll receive the waiver, there’s really no choice in respect to our capability in any case. We play a critical role in obviously supplying fuel to the market and doing everything we can to move it as quickly as possible.”