Applegreen plc, the Irish forecourt operator, has announced a 61.5% increase in gross profit to €15.6m in its first half UK results.

The group also saw UK revenues rise 21% for the six months ending 30 June 2015, while like-for-like stores and food sales increased by 5% (constant currency).

The key development for UK during the period was the opening of the first Motorway Service Area (MSA) in Northern Ireland just north of Belfast. Four other petrol filling station sites were added in the UK of which two were in the London area.

During the financial period the firm also grew its total estate across Ireland and the UK from 152 sites to 175 as at 30 June 2015.

Bob Etching, CEO at Applegreen plc, said: “Growth was evenly spread across both the Republic of Ireland and the UK, with the latter’s contribution also benefitting from the strength of sterling against the euro during this period.

“We continued to expand our business in the six months adding two service area sites and three petrol filling stations in the Republic of Ireland, as well as expanding our network of dealer sites by 11. In the UK our site numbers increased by five including the first Motorway Service Area in Northern Ireland. We also launched two new food offers– Chopstix and Greggs – and increased the number of our food outlets by 18 across the estate.

“Trading since the end of June has been positive and while we expect the rate of growth in H2 to be lower than H1, we are on track to deliver results in line with market expectations.”