Pictured: Ian Hyland, Business & Finance; John Farrelly, SAS Ireland; Emmet O’Neill, Topaz
Fuel and convenience retailer Topaz continues to perform strongly with a number of key investments and jobs created in recent times.
Topaz, the fuel and convenience retailer, announced in February operating profits of €13.9m for the 12 months to March 2014, a 9% increase on the previous year.
Speaking about these latest results, Emmet O’Neill, chief executive said: “2014 was a transformative year for the Topaz business.
“We successfully concluded a major restructuring of the group balance sheet which saw a significant investment by shareholders of €128.5m and a corresponding reduction in group borrowings of over €120m, which reduced the company debt by about 85%.
“This has freed up the resources we need to make a really substantial investment in the business in Ireland and to ensure that we regain our leadership position in the sector here.”
The company also announced two new store openings in February at Ballacolla in Co. Laois and Clonshaugh, Co. Dublin, which created nearly 200 jobs.
Topaz also announced plans to invest €20m across it’s nationwide network throughout 2015. This investment will include a further extension of the Topaz and ReStore brands across the Esso network, which the company purchased last year.
Emmet O’Neill was appointed as the new chief executive of Topaz at the start of the year taking over the role on February 1st .
At the age of 35, O’Neill has enjoyed phenomenal success as an entrepreneur. In 2005, O’Neill founded Smiles Dental as an innovative patient-focused dentistry business. Over the following decade, he grew the business to become one of the largest providers of general and specialist dental services in Ireland and the UK with 78 branches between the two countries. O’Neill sold the Smiles Dental business earlier this year.
Speaking about O’Neill’s appointment as CEO, John Callaghan, chairman of Topaz, described Emmet as “visionary and passionate.” He said: “Emmet is one of the outstanding young entrepreneurs in Ireland and we are very much looking forward to his leadership and his exciting plans for the business.”
O’Neill added: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking up this role at Topaz and to be working with a great team of employees and business partners across the country. We aim to build a worldclass retail and fuel business and to expand our operations significantly over the coming years. Everybody connected with the Topaz business has been incredibly welcoming and I know they all share our ambition for the business.”
About the CEO
Emmet O’Neill was appointed chief executive of Topaz in February 2015. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of Smiles Dental Group, which he sold recently. A graduate of UCD, where he studied finance, O’Neill also previous worked in banking and aviation finance before launching a fitness franchise in Ireland.
Business & Finance, Company of the Month
Business & Finance, in association with SAS Ireland, recognises excellence in business through the ‘Company of the Month’ award. The Company of the Month award recognises the company which best demonstrates outstanding business leadership, sustainable growth, innovative strategy, strong financial returns and employee development.