Vivo Energy's head office in Mauritius. Picture: SUPPLIED
Vivo Energy's head office in Mauritius. Picture: SUPPLIED

Vivo Energy, which operates fuel stations in Africa under the Shell and Engen brands, says its recent expansion into eight new African markets helped lift fuel sales 8% in the six months to end-June.

Vivo, which listed on the JSE in May 2018, does not have operations in SA, but has attracted local investors, including from Eskom’s pension fund.

Vivo said on Thursday it had experienced lower sales volumes in its Shell-branded markets, though higher volumes at Engen had helped lift its gross profit 2% to $318m during the period.

Retail margins in Morocco weighed on the company’s results, with the company reporting that its gross cash unit margin fell 5% year on year, to $70 per thousand litres.

Vivo had acquired 230 Engen service stations in eight jurisdictions in March 2019. It already had an extensive network of Shell-branded stations across Africa.

Vivo CEO Christian Chammas said on Thursday that while gross cash margins had decreased, the company was pleased it had stabilised. “Looking to the rest of the year, we remain on track to achieve our expectations and are excited by the opportunities that we face across our expanded market footprint,” he said in a statement.

Vivo’s share price was unchanged at R21.86 on Thursday morning, having slipped 2.84% so far in 2019.

Correction: August 1 2019

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Vivo's gross profit as $319m, when in fact this is $318m. Business Day regrets the error.