We have achieved record revenues of £1.222 billion, an increase of almost 7% since the previous year (2015: £1.145bn) amid challenging market conditions for the motor industry.
Both new and used vehicle sales, as well as aftersales, performed at record levels resulting in significantly increased revenue, however, with over supply driving vehicle profit margins down and operating costs rising, overall operating profit before exceptionals decreased.
Despite pressure on margins and rising costs, we have continued to invest in our 50-strong network of dealerships over the last year with major redevelopments taking place at Audi Lincoln, Bentley Leeds and Newcastle, Mazda Leeds, Volkswagen Hull, Rotherham and York, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Hull and Vauxhall Bradford. We also started work on Porsche Centre Teesside which is due to open in June.
The group also continued to invest in the development of our digital platform which saw total visitors increase substantially in the year as more and more customers research their next car purchase online.
“Last year, the UK’s national new car market hit a record of 2.7m registrations which, on the face of it, suggests the industry is in rude health, however, a significant number of these vehicles were pre-registered by dealers in order to achieve manufacturer targets. With many of these vehicles subsequently being sold as used cars, this resulted in a significant downward pressure on both new and used vehicle profit margins,” explained our chief executive John Tordoff. “However, with over 70 years’ experience in the industry, we are well-versed in the vagaries of the market and remain committed to providing great value and outstanding service which we know will keep our customers coming back to us.
“As part of this ethos, we are continuing to invest in both our dealerships and our online showroom to ensure the customer journey is as smooth and seamless as possible when shopping with us, and we are also continuing to expand our geographic reach with the opening of a brand new Porsche Centre in Stockton-On-Tees this summer. We have also made significant progress in our quest to be ‘the best place to work’, rising a massive 27 places to take the 57th position in the Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Companies to Work For’ ranking for 2017.”
Nigel Shaw, our group finance director, comments: “Last year, many of our brands put in strong performances and, despite uncertainty in the UK economy in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, so far customer confidence remains strong. As a well-established business with a strong reputation and a loyal customer base, we are looking forward to further growth.”
Added: 26 May 2017