Petcom takes over prime gas station site

By Julian Richardson Assistant Business Co-ordinator

Wednesday, September 12, 2012    

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Petroleum Company of Jamaica (Petcom) has entered into a dealership arrangement with the family of the late Lloyd 'LG' Brown to operate a service station at the intersection of Dunrobin and Constant Spring roads in St Andrew.

It's part of the state-owned gasoline retailer's strategy to procure a greater share of the overall petroleum retail market of which it now controls only 12 per cent. Petcom increases its service station chain to 29 with the deal.

"Petcom is currently on a drive to expand our service station network and therefore we have been actively looking for strategic locations, particularly in the Corporate Area," said the company's general manager, Courtney Lawes.

"Our new location, Petcom Dunrobin, is not only a popular service station but it has the additional advantage of being situated in a high-traffic area," said Lawes.

Government figures show that three major multinational oil companies — Total, Chevron and Shell — have a combined market share of 72 per cent of the Jamaican petroleum retail industry.

Petcom is focusing on growing market share in specic areas such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and lubricants.

The company is particularly bullish on LPG, specifically commercial bulk sales, and projects that it will grow its stake in that market segment by one percentage point to 17 per cent in 2012-13.

There will also be continuing efforts to improve Petcom's brand image in all product lines and t develop and expand products and services thereby improving viability, the government said in an assessment of public sector bodies for the fiscal year.

Petcom expects that its initiatives will help to improve annual gross profits by six per cent to $713 million and pre-tax profits by 13 per cent to $105 million in 2012-13.

The new Dunrobin gas station puts Petcom in a position to benefit at one of the major intersections in St Andrew, which attracts a primary middle to upper income consumer traffic.

The 24-hour station's food mart and convenience store, which is being retained by Petcom, easily attracts hundreds of patrons daily.

What's more, by virtue of being at a major artery for motorists heading in and out of Kingston, it could lure heavy spending at its pumps.

"This is a great example of the kind of location we are seeking as we continue our expansion drive," said Lawes.

The service station there had been operated by the Brown family for more than a decade.

Formerly part of the Esso dealership network, it was owned by late Jamaica Gasoline Retailers Association president LG Brown, whose children took control of the assets after his death in 2005.

The Browns left the dealership arrangement it had with Esso in 2009 and it has since operated as an independent entity, LG Service Centre.





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