Virši closes 2023 with significant investments and strong financial results

  • 2024-02-29

Last year, the energy trader and convenience store network Virši (Virši-A AS and its affiliated Group companies) continued its targeted growth, closing the year with a consolidated unaudited profit of EUR 5.1 million. EBITDA, or the Company’s profitability ratio, reached EUR 13.7 million, the highest in the Company’s history and up 11.7% year-on-year.

“In a challenging geopolitical and economic environment, the Company continued to grow last year, implementing major projects in both network expansion and modernisation, as well as sustainability-related projects, together with continuing to increase market share in the fuel, commodity trading and energy segments. The total amount of investments made last year reached EUR 17.5 million, which is a significant contribution to the Company’s successful development in the future,” says Jānis Vība, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Virši.

Expansion of the energy segment

In expanding and diversifying the electricity solutions available to inhabitants, last September Virši introduced its electricity offer for households. It is based on competitive prices, flexible cooperation conditions and special offers for the purchase of fuel and goods from the Virši network.

“The electricity trading segment delivered a strong performance, with a gross profit of EUR 2.4 million in 2023, almost 6 times the 2022 figure for this business segment. As an energy Company, we want to offer our customers the widest possible range of products and services. This is why our plans also include the introduction of a natural gas offering for customers, which we plan to offer during 2025 after the necessary IT infrastructure for trading this product is in place,” says Jānis Vība.

Geographical expansion

During the year, Virši opened 3 new service stations in Preiļi, Krāslava and near Olaine. Last year, the Company also carried out major modernisation works at 2 sites in Riga, located in the suburb of Sarkandaugava and also Satekles street in the centre, as well as at a facility in Zīlāni. In the second half of last year, construction started on 3 new service stations in Riga (Viskaļu iela), as well as the towns of Sigulda and Salaspils. The Company’s strategic goal is to have at least 90 service stations up and running by the end of 2026, therefore expanding the network will be one of the Company’s top priorities this year. It is also planned to move beyond the Latvian market this year by launching operations in Lithuania and opening its first station in the south of the country on the A5 motorway near the town of Marijampolė in spring.

In addition to the opening of new service stations, the past year also marked the establishment of new business models and sales channels – selling the popular Virši products outside the traditional service station environment. In order to be closer to its customers and offer their favourite coffee and other daily necessities, in the summer the Company introduced the first barista robot in the Baltic states at the shopping centre Spice, as well as started selling Virši coffee in the top! chain of stores, while in the autumn a Virši store with a carefully selected assortment of food and beverages opened its doors in the centre of Riga, on Tērbatas iela.

Growing market share

The expansion of the network and the opening of new outlets are naturally reflected in the increase in sales of goods and fuel, despite the challenging market conditions. In the first 11 months of 2023, fuel retail sales in Latvia increased by 1.5% in terms of tonnes of fuel sold, while Virši’s business grew by 10.5%. Turnover in convenience stores increased by 22.7% or EUR 8.9 million, as a result of which the Company continued to increase its market share in these business segments.

The Virši mobile app was developed to ensure customer convenience and to improve their experience at service stations. It helps drivers save time and pay for their fuel at the pump, includes all the benefits of business, personal and shareholder loyalty programmes, and provides special offers for app users. In less than half a year, the number of customers who have downloaded the app has reached almost 55 000.

For a better future

Promoting energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energies in its portfolio, by the end of 2023, almost half of Virši’s service stations were equipped with solar panels. In 2022, the Group succeeded in attracting support from the European Union’s Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility for the development of a power charging station network. During 2023, the Virši network was actively developing high-capacity EV charging points, and by the end of the reporting year, Virši brand EV charging was already available at 14 Virši locations, significantly expanding the EV charging options and thus increasing both the availability of this sustainable form of transport energy and people’s interest in purchasing greener vehicles. By the end of 2024, more than 20 Virši sites are expected to offer EV charging under the Virši brand.

Valuing its employees and caring for their well-being in the current high inflationary environment, the Company has twice revised and increased the pay rates of its service station employees, thus providing them with one of the most competitive offers in the Latvian retail market.

The full unaudited financial statements of Virši Group are available on the Company’s website.

More information about last year's financial results will be provided by Jānis Vība, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Virši, as well as Vita Čirjevska, Member of the Board and CFO, in a virtual conference (webinar) organised by the Company on March 1 at 11:30 AM Latvian time (10:00AM in Latvian). To sign up for the webinar, please use the following URL:  

About Virši:

Virši is a rapidly growing energy commodities trader and convenience store network with 29 years of experience. Currently there are 76 locations in the Virši network, of which 74 are service stations, and these employ over 780 employees across all of Latvia. Since 11 November 2021, the shares of AS Virši-A have been admitted to trading on the Nasdaq Riga Alternative Market First North.