Annual Report and Accounts 2014


Operating Review - DCC Energy

DCC Energy DCC Energy is the leading oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales, marketing and distribution business in Europe. In oil, DCC Energy is the market leader in Britain and Sweden and one of the leading oil distribution businesses in Austria, Denmark and Ireland. In LPG, DCC Energy is market leader in Norway and Sweden, joint leader in the Netherlands and is a strong number two player in both Britain and Ireland.

In the year ended 31 March 2014, DCC Energy sold 10.2 billion litres of product from its extensive network of 400 facilities to its customer base of approximately one million customers.

Markets and Market Position+-


DCC Energy’s oil distribution business supplies transport fuels, heating oils and fuel oils to commercial, retail, domestic, agricultural, industrial, aviation and marine customers in Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Germany. In Britain, DCC Energy rebranded its oil distribution business during the year as Certas Energy, bringing a new identity to the businesses which have been acquired since 2001. Certas Energy continues to sell oil under a large portfolio of brands, including Bayford, Brogan, Butler Fuels, Carlton Fuels, CPL Petroleum, Gulf, Pace Fuelcare, Scottish Fuels, Shell and Texaco. Outside of Britain, DCC Energy sells oil under the leading brands of Emo Oil (Ireland), Swea (Sweden), DCC Energi (Denmark), Energie Direct (Austria), Top Oil (Austria), Top Oil Bayern and Bronberger & Kessler (Bavaria, Germany).

DCC Energy is one of the leading sales and marketing businesses for branded fuel cards in Britain. The business sells approximately 750 million litres of transport fuels annually through its portfolio of fuel cards under the BP, Esso, Shell, Texaco and Diesel Direct brands. Fuel cards are an essential tool for commercial organisations to manage their transport fuel costs.

DCC Energy provides its customers with access to the breadth of the British retail petrol station and bunker networks through its portfolio of branded fuel cards, while giving them detailed information on fuel utilisation to assist in minimising their spend on transport fuels.

Oil - Britain

DCC Energy has been the consolidator of what was, and continues to be, a highly fragmented oil distribution market in Britain. DCC Energy first entered the market in September 2001 with the acquisition of BP’s business in Scotland and since then has acquired and integrated 38 businesses including the oil distribution businesses of Shell (2004), Chevron Texaco (2008), and Total (2011). DCC Energy is now, by far, the largest oil distributor in Britain. DCC’s addressable market in Britain comprises transport fuels and heating oils to commercial, industrial, domestic, agricultural and dealer owned petrol stations. This is a market of approximately 30 billion litres and DCC sold approximately 5.6 billion litres of product to this market, giving a market share of approximately 18%. The total retail petrol station market in Britain is approximately 35 billion litres. This is split 40% hyper markets, 30% company owned and operated stations and 30% independent dealer owned. DCC Energy has approximately 4% of the total market and supplies to approximately 10% of the dealer market. DCC Energy operates in the independent dealer owned segment of the retail market and today is the largest supplier to this segment, based on the 1,600 sites we supply.

Oil - Ireland

Emo Oil is one of the leading oil distributors in Ireland with a market share of 11%. DCC’s addressable oil market in Ireland is estimated at 9 billion litres.

Oil - Continental Europe

DCC’s Swedish oil distribution business (Swea) is the market leader in Sweden with a share of approximately 19% of the addressable market which is estimated at 2 billion litres. The addressable oil distribution market in Denmark is estimated at 2 billion litres of which DCC Energi Danmark has a market share of 12% and is the number two oil distributor. The addressable oil distribution market in Austria is estimated at 5 billion litres and DCC’s business Energie Direct is the number two in this market with a share of 12%. With the oil majors continuing to divest of oil distribution assets, DCC Energy is well placed to continue its growth by acquisition. In February 2014 DCC announced that it had reached agreement to acquire Qstar, the fifth largest petrol station operator in Sweden, which sells 300 million litres of product through a network of 307 unmanned and 72 dealer operated petrol stations. The business which is based in Norrköping also operates an oil distribution business of 70 million litres.


DCC Energy, through the Flogas Group, is the second largest LPG sales, marketing and distribution business in Britain and Ireland, the largest LPG distributor in Sweden and Norway and the joint leading distributor in the Netherlands. The Flogas Group supplies propane and butane in both bulk and cylinders to domestic, commercial, agricultural and industrial customers for heating, cooking, transport and industrial processes.

In Britain, the business operates from a nationwide infrastructure comprising 63 facilities, while in Ireland the infrastructure comprises 6 depots throughout the country. In Sweden and Norway, the business operates from 10, mostly third party owned, locations while in the Netherlands the business operates from one central depot.

The LPG business also distributes a wide range of LPG fuel appliances, such as mobile heaters and barbeques. Beyond LPG, Flogas in Britain now provides customers with renewable energy products such as biomass boilers, solar panels and heat pumps, through its recent integration of DCC’s New Energy businesses Clearpower and UFW. It has also started to provide liquefied natural gas (‘LNG’) as an energy solution for large industrial businesses with no access to natural gas, whilst Flogas Ireland has developed a strong position as a distributor of natural gas.

Britain represents DCC Energy’s largest LPG market at approximately 1 million tonnes. Trading under the Flogas brand, DCC Energy is the number two LPG distributor in Britain and Ireland with market shares of approximately 28% and 40% respectively. In Sweden and Norway, DCC Energy (trading under the Flogas brand) is market leader with approximately 49% and 47% market shares respectively. In the Netherlands where DCC Energy trades under the Benegas brand, the business has an overall market share of 20% (excluding the autogas market which DCC Energy entered during the year, the business has a market share of approximately 27%). Unlike the oil distribution market which remains highly fragmented, the LPG markets in Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands are relatively consolidated.

Strategy and Development+-

DCC Energy’s vision is to be a global leader in the marketing, sale and distribution of fuels and related products and the provision of services to energy consumers:

  • with strong local market shares;
  • operating under multiple brands;
  • consolidating fragmented markets;
  • selling a broad range of related products and services;
  • building a position in new geographies;
  • continuing the development of its presence in the green/renewable energy sector;
  • generating high levels of ROCE; and
  • while maintaining a strong balance sheet.


In oil distribution, DCC Energy’s strategy is to be the leading oil distribution business in its chosen addressable markets by continuing to consolidate existing markets, driving targeted growth particularly in the non-heating dependent segments of the market, expanding into new geographies through acquisition and driving organic profit growth by leveraging the scale of the business by selling differentiated products and cross selling add-on products and services such as lubricants and boiler maintenance services to its extensive customer base.

Key to DCC Energy’s expansion into the non-heating segments of the market is the intention to build a larger presence in the transport fuels segment of the market, with particular emphasis on growing its presence in the retail forecourt sector of the market by expanding its supply to independent dealers, growing its unmanned and bunker site presence, by leveraging its existing supply infrastructure and scale and developing industry leading propositions for its dealers and retail consumers.

DCC Energy’s strategy in Britain is to continue to grow its market share (currently 18%) to in excess of 20% of its addressable market. Key to achieving this target is growth in non-heating dependent segments of the market with a particular focus on retail petrol stations and the marine and aviation sectors. DCC Energy is now the largest supplier to independent dealer owned retail petrol stations in Britain, selling to approximately 1,600 sites across the country. The business has been actively rolling out the Gulf brand across this network and currently supplies approximately 425 dealer owned sites operating under the Gulf brand. The business distributes to approximately 150 Total branded dealer owned sites and also supplies dealer owned sites under a range of other brands including Pace, Power, Scottish Fuels, Texaco and Regent.

Through the acquisition of the Qstar forecourt network in Sweden, DCC Energy has taken its first major step in building a retail business across Europe in pursuit of our strategy of capturing greater share of the consumer margin in the transport sector of the market.

In fuel cards, DCC Energy is continuing to target high levels of organic growth through its extensive telesales team and cross selling fuel cards to its broad oil distribution customer base. The fuel cards business has expanded its customer offering through providing innovative products to customers such as ‘CO2Count’ and ‘Mileage Capture’ which provide customers with key information on fuel consumption and emissions to allow them to better manage their businesses.


DCC Energy will continue to leverage its strong LPG market positions in the Flogas group to drive organic profit growth on a sector by sector basis in all of its markets. Similar to the oil business, the LPG business is targeting growth in the non-heating dependent segments of the market, primarily through organic volume growth. This will be achieved by promoting LPG to industrial and commercial entities looking to switch to more environmentally friendly and competitively priced energy sources. Operationally, the business will look to gain further efficiencies in Britain following the successful integration of BP’s LPG business in 2014, and through a number of business improvement initiatives across the Flogas group.


DCC Energy has a very broad customer base with approximately 1 million customers across the geographies in which the businesses operate. Customers are primarily spread over the commercial, retail, industrial, domestic, agricultural and marine markets. DCC Energy has no material customer dependencies.

The volume split by customer type for the year ended 31 March 2014 is as follows:


The volume split by type of product for the year ended 31 March 2014 is as follows:



As with its customer base, DCC Energy’s supplier portfolio is broadly based. The top five suppliers represent approximately 59% of total volumes supplied with no one individual supplier accounting for more than 20% of volumes supplied in the year to 31 March 2014. The major suppliers to the division are BP, Essar, Ineos, Mabanaft, Philips66, Shell, Statoil and Valero Energy.

Our People+-

DCC Energy’s business is a people business at its core. Therefore we are very focussed on developing processes and practices that ensure we are focussed on the well being, development and engagement of our people across all areas of the business and to ensure that we have the necessary resources, talent and skills to deliver the service levels expected by our customers in a safe way, every day.

Continuous improvement of our safety performance is a key priority and responsibility for all line managers and directors who are supported by experienced health and safety functions in each business. Occupational safety and process safety (relating to the larger terminals which have the potential for a major accident) is managed through systems and processes which identify, control and monitor health and safety risks. Monthly KPIs are reviewed by the DCC Energy Board which sets annual objectives to drive improvements in near miss reporting, safety awareness, competence and overall safety culture.

DCC Energy has strong management teams with an in depth knowledge and years of experience in the markets in which the businesses operate. As our businesses have grown we have looked to augment the existing management teams with experienced personnel in senior roles and we will continue to develop the management teams as the businesses grow.

In the year to March 2013, Safety F1rst, a safety culture initiative focussed on improving attitudes and behaviour towards safety and led by senior management, was adopted in Certas Energy UK. Following the successful adoption in Certas Energy UK, Safety F1rst has been rolled out to all companies in the Oil and LPG businesses during the year.

DCC Energy currently employs 4,711 people.

Key Risks+-

DCC Energy has a broad customer base across a number of geographies and many of the economies in which the division operates are showing signs of recovery. However, a deterioration in this economic recovery and its impact on consumer spending and confidence is a key risk faced by the division.

A significant proportion of DCC Energy’s volumes are generated through the sale of heating dependent product and, accordingly, as noted in previous years the division can be impacted by extreme movements in weather conditions. As discussed earlier in this report, the development focus has been to reduce the heating dependence of the division through the development of the non-heating segments of the business. The acquisition of Qstar in Sweden has been a key building block in this strategy, which will continue in the coming year.

DCC Energy sold 10.2 billion litres of product during the year ended 31 March 2014 and the businesses operate with inherent risks to the environment and people. Ensuring that our businesses maintain rigorous health, safety and environmental standards is one of our core business principles. The rollout of the Safety F1rst campaign during the year has demonstrated senior management’s commitment to this principle.

DCC Energy has been highly acquisitive over the last number of years and ensuring the smooth integration of these acquisitions is critical to the success of the division. This is achieved through close monitoring of the acquired businesses and ongoing management development.


DCC Energy’s approach to sustainability recognises the reality of climate change and the physical challenges arising from changing weather patterns and more frequent extreme weather events. Government responses to climate change include levies and taxes on carbon emissions, incentives for renewables and energy efficiency technologies and setting long term carbon reduction targets. At the same time the economy relies on energy (primarily from fossil fuels) to function and grow. DCC Energy is committed to assisting our customers reduce their environmental impact. This is being achieved through offering our customers cleaner, more efficient fuels and innovative solutions, enabling customers to monitor their own energy use and quantify carbon emissions.

The potential for oil spills to impact on the environment is a risk that is managed on a daily basis. From domestic deliveries to large storage facilities in coastal locations, a range of controls are in place to minimise the potential of this becoming a reality. Controls include the design and maintenance of vehicles and depots, the implementation of effective operational procedures and, critically, the engagement of competent, trained employees who are handling product every day.

No significant spills occurred in the period. However all spills have the potential to cause local damage so in the event of any spill occurring, immediate action is taken to contain and recover the product to minimise impact to the surroundings. Detailed investigations are completed to identify the root causes of any incidents to identify learning points and opportunities for improvement.

DCC Energy’s businesses operate on a very local footprint in all the markets in which we have a presence. Therefore it is crucial to our long term strategy that we have a high degree of trust within the communities in which we operate. All our businesses operate to the highest standards, invest heavily in infrastructure and training, and encourage our staff to participate actively in the communities within which they work.

Performance for the Year Ended 31 March 2014+-

DCC Energy delivered a robust performance with operating profit 4.0% ahead of the prior year as the business benefitted from acquisitions, integration synergies and operational efficiencies which were partly offset by the effect on profitability of the very mild winter weather conditions which impacted all geographies in which DCC Energy operates.

DCC Energy sold 10.2 billion litres of product during the year, an increase of 6.1% over the prior year. Organically, volumes were 3.0% lower, primarily due to a decrease in heating related volumes of approximately 11% as the average temperatures in Northern Europe during the second half of the year, particularly December through to February, were significantly milder than both the prior year and the 10 year average.

The oil business made good progress, notwithstanding the impact of the mild winter weather conditions. The business in Britain benefitted from the implementation of its logistics efficiency programme and from the successful integration of the former Total distribution business. In addition, it benefitted from its focus on transport fuels, with particularly strong organic growth in fuel cards. Adjusting for the weather impact, the oil businesses in Continental Europe performed satisfactorily and delivered strong returns, with the exception of the business in Sweden which was impacted by significant competition. Good progress was made in DCC’s strategy to build a larger presence in the transport fuels market, particularly in unmanned retail petrol stations, through the agreement to acquire Qstar.

The LPG business performed strongly, benefitting from the acquisitions of BP’s businesses in Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium and SFR’s businesses in Sweden and Norway, all of which were completed in the prior year. In particular, the business in Britain benefitted from the achievement of the targeted cost synergies following the successful integration of the former BP LPG business. The LPG operations as a whole achieved good organic growth in the industrial and commercial sector of the market which more than offset the impact on volumes of the mild winter weather.

DCC Energy now operates across nine countries in Europe and remains well positioned to grow in those markets and to continue to expand into new geographies.


DCC Energy: Key Financial Performance Indicators

Strategic objective



Drive increase in sales volumes



Drive for enhanced operational performance

Operating profit growth


Grow operating profit per litre

Operating profit per litre


Deliver superior shareholder returns

Return on capital employed


Generate cash flows to fund organic and acquisition growth and dividends

Operating cash flow


Deliver superior shareholder returns

10 year operating profit CAGR