13.05.2009

First substantial company liquidation in the fuel retailing sector

Dolphin Retail, which has 22 petrol filling stations in Scotland and Yorkshire, has gone into liquidation, according to the Peebleshire News.

A spokesman for Dolphin stated that the company was quite profitable, but has been unable to secure a new finance package from Lloyds Banking Group. The collapse of this business is not, however, going to result in a distressed sale as the majority of the sites are either cogops (oil company-owned, group-operated) or leasehold.

To date, there have been few casualties in the fuel retailing sector, with the majority of businesses holding up relatively well. Whilst fuel volumes have indeed fallen (10% – 20% on average), pricing volatility has protected margins and shop sales have also been sustained.

Furthermore, being cash flow businesses, operators have been able to continue to service loan commitments and the significant reduction in interest rates has also assisted