Near doubling its market share within the last year, Future Energy Source Company Limited (Fesco), in an outlook for continued growth, said it is seeking to expand its fleet of service stations across the island by early next year.
“What we envision is that within the next 15-18 months, we will be at 20 or 22 stations. We believe we are sufficiently small, currently, and that we can grow, there is a lot of geographic space in Jamaica, so we do see where there is a lot of opportunity to grow,” said Jeremy Barnes, the company's managing director during a Mayberry Investors Forum held last week.
“You can look for us coming closer to you with new locations. We get calls every day from people wanting to open stations and to become station dealers. Typically, gas stations take about three years from the planning to the opening date, and so we are at various stages of the process for each location,” he added.
The petrol distributing company, which currently run some 16 service stations across the island, operates 'dealer-owned, dealer-operated' or 'dealer-owned, company-invested' or 'dealer-owned, company-operated' models, recently adding its first company-owned company-operated (COCO) station following the commissioning of its Beechwood Avenue, St Andrew location last November.
Touting the addition of some new services expected to come on stream at its first company-owned station during the fourth quarter of this year, Barnes said that these along with growing petrol sales is expected to keep revenue performance on pace with its 12-month forecast cited in the initial public offering (IPO) launched last year. The Junior Market company for the nine months ended December 31 reported profits of over $170 million coupled with revenues of $8 billion.
“The FYC refill water store and express mart, while they won't bring the giant leap in revenues, will bring incremental earnings and will help us to create an environment on Beechwood Avenue as a destination station allowing also for greater fuel sale,” Barnes stated.
“There is a value proposition of the Fesco stations that is impressive. A lot of them are destination stations as people go there for multiple services, during the pandemic we saw that people came to our stations to go to the supermarket, for money transfers, pharmacy, and many other services that can be accomplished in one destination,” he further said.
Speaking of some other plans for growth in the market, the CEO provided update on the company's intended foray in the cooking gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) market.
“In looking forward to go into the LPG space, which is capital and equipment intensive, we will start making investments and deploying capital to acquire assets. It's a cylinder/ storage heavy business so going forward we will be making investments in cylinders,” Barnes said.
Barnes said that while there was also potential interest in the electric vehicles (EV) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets, plans for these segments were currently not aggressive but could in the longer term be pursued as the company positions to take advantage of future opportunities.