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Trade Centre Group's record results show 44% turnover growth in 2018

The Trade Centre Wales chief executive Andy Coulthurst and sales director Andy Wildy

The Trade Centre Group has published a record set of annual results detailing a 44% rise in turnover to over £250m and record profits during a year of expansion in 2018.

The Neath headquartered ID50 business posted pre-tax profits of £21m (2017: £15.2m) during the period to November 31, 2018 as its turnover rose to £253 million (2017: £178.4m).

Its record results include sales generated by the group’s Coventry car supermarket, which is its first outside its home territory of Wales, which helped swell its annual vehicles sales to 41,892 over the period.

Trading as Trade Centre UK the business created around 140 jobs at the new 1,000-car dealership in the sprawling former premises of Leekes furniture store with its opening in April, 2018.

Speaking exclusively to AM, Trade Centre Group chief executive Officer Andy Coulthurst, said: “We strengthened our leadership team in 2018 in readiness for our next stage of growth. 

"We have the capacity to maintain our industry leading KPI’s whilst doubling our turnover to half a billion. 

"We will continue to make further investments in 2019 to improve our efficiency and service levels, including launching a new in-house Dealer Management System”

Group chairman, Mark Bailey, said: "We are naturally delighted with the financial achievements in the year, but we are incredibly proud of the hard work of our teams to create outstanding customer satisfaction: becoming the highest rated UK car supermarket group on TrustPilot is no mean feat."

Trade Centre UK's TrustPilot customer satisfaction score rose from 8.7 to 9.4 during 2018.

The retailer holds a top five ranking with both leading industry media publishers, recently ranking fourth in the Automotive Management ID50.

The Trade Centre Group was also ranked 156th in the 14th annual Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, published in October 2018.

This year’s ID50 labelled Trade Centre Wales as now being “one to watch”.

Investment in the car supermarket group has enabled it to grow rapidly since 2015, becoming the UK’s fourth largest independent dealer, with a 68% year-on-year rise in turnover in 2017.

Growth is not coming at the expense of profitability, the ID50 also noted, with its pre-tax profit having climbed by 50% during the same period.

From its heartland north of Cardiff, the company has expanded into mid-England since 2017, opening major car supermarkets in Wednesbury and Coventry.

Established sites are growing organically too, and total sales volume has risen by 62% in a year to 30,947 units.

With the Coventry dealership only a year old, chairman Mark Bailey and chief executive Andy Coulthurst expect to report more increases in sales in the years ahead.

During 2018 The Trade Centre Group expanded its board of directors, appointing Tim Carr as chief financial officer, Mark Sainsbury as operations director and Nathan Bailey as director of vehicle purchasing.

Commenting on the year’s activity and recrord annual financial results, chief executive, Andy Coulthurst, said: "We have grown the business rapidly over the last three years and it was critical that we made the right appointments to underpin the next phases of growth.

"As we head towards half a billion in turnover, we must maintain our industry-leading KPIs (key performance indicators) whilst following our now well-established roll-out blueprint.

"We will be making further investments in 2019 to improve our efficiency and service levels, including launching a new in-house dealer management system (DMS)."

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