Despite issues facing the automotive sector, JCT600 has once again put in a strong performance with our turnover reaching a new high of £1.277bn, a 2% rise from £1.251bn the previous year, and profits remaining steady.
Recognising that new car sales in 2018 would continue to be a challenge due to economic uncertainty caused by Brexit, together with supply problems resulting from the WLTP regulations, we again focussed on our used car sales operation and aftersales services, as well as keeping a tight control on costs.
While there was a UK market reduction of 2.1% on used vehicle sales, we increased this key part of our business by 9%; and also grew revenues from aftersales by 3.9%. This strategy helped to offset an 8.4% fall in new car sales on a like for like basis.
As well as increasing turnover, we also saw a slight uplift in operating profit before exceptional items, rising from £23.1m in 2017 to £23.2m for the year ending 31 December 2018.
During the year, we continued our commitment to improving the customer experience by upgrading our showrooms, investing a total of £9m including major refurbishments at Porsche Sheffield and Porsche Newcastle as well as creating a new call centre in Chesterfield. In addition, we acquired the two Jaguar and Land Rover dealerships in Doncaster last July, and in September announced that we would be representing Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Leeds.
John Tordoff, our chief executive, commented: “As a long-established Yorkshire-based business with a reputation for leading the way in the automotive sector, we are proving able to continue to outperform the market. While keeping customers firmly at the core of everything we do, we are nimble enough to be able to adapt to changing conditions while continuing to invest for the future.”
Nigel Shaw, group finance director, adds: “It has been a challenging year for the new car market with supply issues caused by the introduction of the WLTP emissions regime resulting in restrictions in many brands. However, we have been able to focus on developing other areas of our operations, such as used car sales and aftersales services, as well as keeping a close eye on costs in order to grow our revenue. It’s also encouraging that despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty, customer confidence and economic performance remain relatively strong, boosted by low unemployment and interest rates.”
Added: 20 May 2019