BLACKBURN'S billionaire Issa brothers main EG group has taken a cost of living crisis hit in earnings its latest results show

Its trading figures for the the three months to March 31 2023 reveal that its underlying trading performance fell by five per cent in the three months to September 30, compared to the same first quarter period last year.

Revenues for the group based in Waterside, Blackburn, were $7.2billion, up from $6.9bn.

The group's profit before tax, interest and other deductions or EBITDA dropped to $228million compared with $270m for the same period a year ago.

Its underlying trading performance for Quarter One was $12million or five per cent down.

However, the group said figures were line with expectations.

The results also reveal EG group is on track with its strategy to reduce its borrowing mountain, or 'leverage', prior to its £2.27nillion sale to Asda, also owned by Mohsin and Zuber Issa.

It expects to reduce total net debt from $9,801m in March 2023 to $5,375m after completion of the deal later this year.

Grocery and merchandise continued to perform well across the group. Its gross profit of $313m for Quarter One was up seven per cent despite the continued underlying product cost pressures.

In foodservice, sales increased by almost 15 per cent year on year, driven largely by the group’s continued investment strategy, with 88 new outlets opening since March 2022. As a result, total foodservice gross profit was $17m or 10 per cent above the previous year's figure.

Fuel volumes of 4.1bn litres were up three per cent on the same three months in 2022.

Co-founder and co-chief executive of EG Group Zuber Issa said: “The sale of EG Group to Asda is an important step and provides a platform to further invest across our diverse international portfolio, where we continue to see compelling opportunities to accelerate our proven and successful strategy to rollout foodservice, and grocery and merchandise to create multi-purpose convenience retail sites across our estate.

"We also have a significant opportunity to deploy emerging fuels and EV chargers.

“The group has now delivered a combination of strategic actions that will enable us to significantly reduce our overall leverage to below five times.

“Over the last 22 years, we have built a hugely successful global multi-purpose convenience, fuel retail and foodservice business and this will continue from our global headquarters in Blackburn under the existing leadership team.

"In Quarter One we delivered another robust set of results.

“Our future ambitions are unchanged and, following the Asda transaction, we will continue to operate across three continents and nine countries. This provides an unrivalled platform from which to grow."