Fluctuating oil price fuels growth at family-owned J.R. Rix & Sons

Rory Clarke, managing director of J.R. Rix & Sons
Rory Clarke, managing director of J.R. Rix & Sons
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Family-OWNED business J.R. Rix & Sons reported a 21 per cent rise in turnover in 2018 following the integration of two new fuel businesses and the fluctuating price of oil.

The company, headquartered on Spyvee Street, Hull, saw a significant increase in group revenue from £407m in 2017 to £496m last year as oil prices peaked at key trading times in the year.

Rix Petroleum, the largest business in the group, accounted for 70 per cent of the growth in group revenue, rising from £304m to £366m.

As well as the rising oil price, the result reflects the impact of two acquisitions – North Yorkshire-based Stones Fuel Oils at the end of 2017, and Wynnstay Fuels, which the company bought in mid-2018.

However, despite last year’s long, cold winter, like-for-like volumes rose just 3.3 per cent, mainly as a result of the new depots coming on stream.

Group pre-tax profit grew by a third, from £5.8m to £7.7m.

Rory Clarke, managing director of J.R. Rix & Sons, said the company had reported a strong trading performance.

He said: “In a commodity-based business like Rix Petroleum, turnover is affected by a number of factors, including the cost of raw materials. When this goes up, the price of product increases in the marketplace, inflating the value of our sales.

“Despite seeing a significant increase in turnover, therefore, the volume of product we sold has only gone up by a relatively small amount, which can be accounted for by some extra sales in the cold snap earlier this year, but mainly due to the acquisitions of Stones Fuel Oils and Wynnstay Fuels.”

Other businesses in the Group also performed well during 2018.