The profit margins are higher on offensive weapons

A comparison of margins: This is how much petrol stations earn from fuel


The surcharges on petrol and diesel are particularly high in Switzerland. According to the operator, the sales costs are to blame.

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Switzerland seems to be a gold mine for the oil companies. There is hardly any other European country where profit margins per liter of petrol or diesel are higher. This is the result of a data comparison by the German Energy Information Service (EID), as the «Welt» writes.

Specifically, this means that the oil companies in this country add around 29 cents per liter of conventional gasoline (exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.15 francs). An even higher margin is incurred in Norway: there it is 31 cents. When it comes to diesel, Switzerland even occupies the top position: around 32 cents per liter go to the oil companies, in Norway it is a good 25 cents. Germany is in the lower third of the rankings with just under 12 cents on petrol and 10 cents on diesel.

But why are the fuel surcharges so high in Switzerland in particular? With the margin you pay the costs for sales, transport, storage, logistics, amortization or marketing, says David Suchet from the petroleum association to 20 minutes. "These expenses are higher in Switzerland than abroad, which is why the gross margin is correspondingly higher." The bottom line for petrol stations is the net margin. “But this is ultimately a result of the domestic petrol station competition,” said Suchet.

After deductions, this net margin in Switzerland should still be a few cents. In total, however, something comes together. According to the Petroleum Association, the average sales per Swiss petrol station last year was 1.35 million liters of fuel.

Taxes make up half the price of fuel

The price at the pump is not driven by the margin alone. There are three cost blocks in total. According to the Petroleum Association, over half is intended for state and public-law charges. Around 30 percent cover procurement costs on the international oil market and freight to the Swiss border. The margin is just under 20 percent for the price.

The Migros subsidiary Migrol operates a network with over 310 petrol stations in Switzerland and sees the price of fuel primarily driven by competition. "In Switzerland, there is intense price competition among fuel suppliers, which is not only based on pricing, but also, in some cases, with high discounts," the company said on request. However, the profit on fuel is kept "measured in terms of sales within narrow limits".

"Markets cannot be compared"

Coop Mineralöl AG regards the margins in Switzerland as justified. "The markets cannot be compared in terms of infrastructure, procurement and supply channels," said the Coop subsidiary with over 240 filling stations in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. In addition, the composition of the margin is defined differently in each country.

Consumer protection is not pleased with the high margins. "The differences to other countries can certainly not be justified by the costs of sales, for example." A slightly higher margin for Switzerland is understandable. “But definitely not to this extent,” says Walpen.

«Demanding» Norway

The margins are particularly high not only in Switzerland, but also in Norway. The high surcharges are necessary there in order to operate the petrol station network economically, writes the energy information service. This is particularly "demanding" in Norway because there are few petrol stations and long distances between the locations.

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