BLACKBURN'S billionaire Issa brothers main EG Group is well placed to weather the current inflation and cost of living crisis.

That is the view of joint chief executive Zuber Issa as the firm reported a £215.7 million net profit for the first three months of the year.

He said the company he co-founded in 2001 with sibling Mohsin Issa as Euro Garages had "performed resiliently" in challenging market conditions in the quarter to March 31.

Zuber said the results confirmed their view that food service was the group's biggest opportunity for further growth.

He said: “EG Group performed resiliently in the first three months of the year.

"Against an uncertain and fast-changing backdrop, the business continued to make good progress against its strategic objectives across the group’s operations.

“The strong performance in foods ervice was supported by UK acquisitions from 2021 that contributed $40 million (£32m) of gross profit across the quarter, while the business continues to benefit from ongoing investment and the rollout of new sites.

"This momentum only serves to underline our belief that food service represents the biggest opportunity for EG Group globally.

“The outlook for the year remains uncertain with household budgets already coming under significant inflationary pressure.

"However, we remain confident the geographic diversity of our business and our highly complementary grocery and merchandise, food service and fuel operations will continue to underpin our resilience and allow us to outperform the wider market.”

The results revealed the group had opened 26 food service outlets in the quarter, bringing the number worldwide to more than 1,800

Of those 21 were opened in the UK and Ireland including Subway, Greggs, Cinnabon and Sbarro sites.

The group has also bought 285 forecourts in Southern Germany and recently announced its ambition to create more than 32,000 jobs globally over a five-year period.

Zuber said that as of April 2022, EG Group had 250 electric vehicle charging points at 98 sites in the UK and Europe, including ultra-fast EV chargers.

The results for this quarter showed a net profit across the global group of £215.7m after interest tax, depreciation and debt and asset write-offs.

This was a two per cent increase.

In food service operations EG's gross profit increases by 54 per cent year-on-year to £140m and up 20 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Grocery and merchandise quarterly gross profits of £234m remained consistent.

The fuel gross profit for the three months increased by 16 per cent to £384m but it marginally reduced compared with the previous quarter partially driven by increased market volatility due to the impact of geopolitical events on wholesale oil prices and demand.