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NEWS - EUROPE Morrisons and Rontec to open a further 40 c-stores Supermarket giant Morrisons is extending its partnership with Rontec that will see a further 40 convenience stores open across the forecourt operator’s UK sites. The new Morrisons Daily stores, which are due to open in the “coming months” are in addition to the ten stores recently opened as part of an agreement between the two companies announced in November. Meanwhile, Morrisons said it was ending its trial with Motor Fuel Group (MFG) that saw the supermarket chain piloting its convenience food offer in five MFG petrol station shops. MFG said Londis, which already features on more than 300 MFG forecourts, will be extended to these five forecourts in April. Morrisons said it sees the convenience market as an opportunity for growth, especially through petrol forecourts and independent retailers. The announcements came as Morrisons reported a 1.7% rise in like-for-like sales in the year to 29 January, while profits were up by 11.6% to £337m. Morrisons chief executive David Potts said: “Our turnaround has just started, and we have more plans and important work ahead. If we keep improving the customer shopping trip, I am confident that Morrisons will continue to grow.” Amazon and Repsol strike parcel pick-up deal Repsol has agreed a deal with Amazon that will allow people to pick up parcels at its filling stations in the latest signs of oil companies widening the range of services available through their retail networks. Customers will be able to receive deliveries at many of Repsol’s almost 4,000 outlets across Spain and Portugal, as the service is rolled out over the next two months. It follows a trial of the service in some of Repsol’s 320 sites in Italy. The deal is part of wider efforts by Amazon and other online retailers to provide convenient pick-up locations for parcels that avoid customers having to wait at home for deliveries. It also highlights renewed focus by oil and gas companies on the consumer appeal of their retail networks, which have become a more important source of cash generation in an era of relatively low oil prices. “We’re adding new products and services to our forecourts to take advantage of the fact we have more face-to-face contact with consumers each day than almost any other brand in Spain,” said Josu Jon Imaz, Repsol chief executive. The Amazon Locker service is already widely available in the US and at more than 1,300 locations in the UK, However, Repsol’s deal has the potential to be among the biggest click and collect partnerships with Amazon in Europe. Customers are sent a code by Amazon which opens the locker containing their parcel. Repsol has also introduced car-sharing services and charging points for EVs at select stations. TOTAL CEO NAMED 2017 ENERGY INTELLIGENCE Petroleum ExeC Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total has been named 2017 Energy Intelligence Petroleum Executive of the Year. He was chosen by a selection committee made up of top global oil industry executives, and is the 21st winner of the prestigious honour. “The past few years have presented enormous challenges for the oil and gas industry, and no company has responded to those challenges more dynamically than Total,” said Jim Washer, Executive Editor of Energy Intelligence. That dynamism reflects the leadership of Patrick Pouyanné, who in less than three years as CEO has led an overhaul of Total’s strategy aimed at preparing the company for a future of ‘lower-for-longer’ oil prices and uncertainty over the transition to lower carbon energy sources.” Pouyanné was appointed CEO of Total in October 2014, and has consolidated Total’s leadership position among major international oil companies with respect to clean energy technologies and climate change policy. He has said explicitly that Total will use the UN’s 2015 Paris climate agreement, which aims to keep global temperature increases to less than 2°C, as a “bible” for its future investments. Under Pouyanné, Total has backed up this talk with investment, building on the controlling stake in US solar panel maker SunPower it bought for $1.4 billion in 2011. Last year, Total moved into high-tech energy storage with the $1.1 billion acquisition of French battery maker Saft, and also expanded its energy delivery capabilities through the takeover of Belgian gas distribution and renewable power provider Lampiris. Previous winners include H.E. Khalid al-Falih of Saudi Aramco (2016) and US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, formerly of ExxonMobil (2015). NESTE WELCOMES SWEDISH GOV’S RENEWABLE AMBITIONS Neste has said it welcomes the Swedish government’s draft law proposals for the emission reduction mandate for traffic fuels and the continued tax exemption for highblend biofuels. Long-term perspective and ambitious targets provide a much needed basis for innovation and investments in the biofuels sector, while ensuring the necessary carbon emission reductions in transportation. “Sweden is showing worldwide leadership with its ambitious goal to reduce carbon emissions from its transport sector by 70% by 2030. A growing Nordic market for biofuels is emerging, as also Norway and Finland have recently set very high biofuel targets. The large resources of forest-based raw materials in these countries are expected to play a big role in reaching these targets,” says Kaisa Hietala, Executive Vice President of Neste’s Renewable Products business area. “We are very proud to have been able to contribute to the positive development in the Swedish fuels markets over the past years by supplying renewable diesel to several fuel companies and our distribution customers through our coastal terminals in Södertälje, Kalmar, Malmö, and Göteborg,” Kaisa Hietala says. Neste is the world’s largest producer of high-quality renewable diesel. In 2016, various wastes and residues accounted for almost 80% of our raw material usage globally. The majority of Neste’s annual R&D budget (some 41 million euros) is spent on developing and pilot testing new raw materials for biofuels. Applegreen unveils maiden dividend as earnings grow Applegreen announced a first dividend since its 2015 flotation after delivering 11% growth in earnings last year, driven by food sales and the addition of sites in Ireland, the UK and US. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to €32m from €28.9m to meet analysts’ expectations, as its network grew to 243 sites after adding 28 company owned locations and 15 dealer sites in 2016. Revenue grew by 9% to €1.18 billion. It is proposing a maiden dividend of 1.25c per share. “Our food and store sales were particularly strong in the Republic of Ireland during the year, while the UK had a good performance in the second six months,” said CEO Bob Etchingham. The group, which started off with one filling station in Ballyfermot in Dublin in 1992, increased its number of sites to 243 last year. erpecnews is published by McLean Events, Conferences and Media Ltd. 7


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