petro-7 gas station More on the way.

Petro-7 plans 30 more gas stations this year

Owned by 7-Eleven, it wants to open 25-50 stations a year

The 7-Eleven convenience store chain will open 30 more gas stations this year in Mexico under its Petro-7 brand, investing as much as 400 million pesos, or US $21 million.

The company’s plan, said business manager Luz María Gutiérrez, is to open “between 25 and 50 new service stations” a year. It currently owns 215 but only three operate under the Petro-7 brand, although many are in the process of being converted from Pemex stations.

After the company introduced its new brand last November, Gutiérrez said sales increased 25%-30% at the three stations.

The increase was not related to the January hike in fuel prices, as gross profit has remained consistently at 0.91 pesos per liter since last year.

7-Eleven is an international company based in Texas and operates over 1,700 convenience stores in Mexico.

Mexican firm FullGas has also shown interest in the gas station industry, announcing last October its intention of bringing the Texaco brand to Mexico.

Hidrosina currently operates seven gas stations, but expects to close the year with up to 12. This goal puts the firm closer to the total of 20 gas stations for which it has signed an agreement with state oil company Pemex.

Last March, British Petroleum announced its intention of opening 1,500 gas stations in Mexico during the next five years.

These firms and several others are betting on a market that was previously closed to all but Pemex, and currently has 11,431 gas stations, according to the Energy Secretariat.

Source: El Financiero (sp), Petrol Plaza (en)

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