In 2001 managing director Zuber Issa started buying run-down petrol stations from oil companies and upgrading them. Now Euro Garages owns and runs 50 petrol stations and associated shops in northwest England and is buying eight more. Most of the stores are Spa-branded and bring in 35% of the revenue, while the petrol is branded BP, Shell, Total or Texaco. Station purchases are funded with loans from Lloyds TSB but the refits are paid for with retained profits. Capital spending on new and existing assets, soaring petrol prices and additional retail services have helped to take sales up 66% a year from £17.3m in 2002 to £78.9m in 2005.
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