File photo\: Hasan Jamali.
DURBAN – Vivo Energy, the pan-African retailer and marketer of Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants, has made a strong start in the first quarter of the year, reporting 7 percent increase in volumes to 2.441 million litres.

The group attributed the volume growth during the quarter to good underlying growth in its existing 15 Shell-branded markets and one month of contribution from the eight new Engen-branded markets and the additional sites in Kenya.

In March, Vivo Energy acquired Engen International Holdings by issuing 63.2 million new shares and $62.1 million (R896.90m) in cash to Engen for a 5percent stake.

The transaction allowed Vivo Energy to add 230 Engen-branded service stations and eight new countries to its network, which now includes 2130 service stations across 23 African markets.

The group said in the month of March, the one month of the new combined group, volumes were 13 percent higher year-on-year than Vivo Energy’s standalone performance the previous year.

Chief executive Christian Chammas said they were pleased to have delivered a strong start in the first quarter of the year, which was in line with their expectations in what was traditionally the slowest quarter of the year.

“We have moved quickly to integrate the new Engen businesses into Vivo Energy and are very excited about the opportunities that we see ahead of us in the new markets,” Chammas said.

Vivo Energy obtained a secondary listing on the JSE in May last year and has a primary listing in London.

The group said a gross cash unit margin of $69 per thousand litres in the quarter was in line with full year guidance."