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Tuesday, May 20, 2003

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BPCL to spend Rs 550 cr for new retail outlets

Archana Chaudhary

MUMBAI, May 19

BHARAT Petroleum Corporation Ltd has planned an outgo of around Rs 550 crore for setting up new retail outlets this year.

The company plans to add another 800 to 1,000 new retail outlets to its existing network of 4,562 outlets during the current financial year, senior officials told Business Line.

According to sector analysts, this is an ambitious plan considering the company had launched only 100-odd outlets last year.

"Last year we were confronted with the petrol pump allocation controversy which had led to Court orders cancelling allotments under the prevailing dealer selection boards," explained a senior company official.

"This year will also be an aggressive one for petroleum product retailing considering new players will now be entering the market," he said.

As part of its retail plans, BPCL plans to add another 1,500 new outlets as part of its `Pure for Sure' campaign. These would include new retail outlets apart from those converted from the existing ones. It currently has 1,950 PFS outlets.

Also, BPCL has targeted sale of three lakh kilolitres of branded petrol `Speed' through its selected PFS outlets in the coming year. The company claims that Speed commands 65 per cent market share in the green fuel segment.

"We plan to sell Speed through 250 to 300 PFS outlets in addition to the present 450 PFS outlets, mainly in the urban and semi-urban regions," the official said.

The company also plans to increase the number of `One Stop Truck Shops' along the highways from the present 40 sites.

Meanwhile, BPCL's ongoing campaign to convert dealer-owned outlets into Company-Owned Company-Operated outlets will continue, the official said.

"We have prepared for the fiercest competition and can perhaps say that the company can match any of the services offered by oil giants internationally," he said.

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