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Bates tops latest AM listing

Bates Motor Group heads a new Automotive Management listing of the top 20 motor retailers in terms of return on shareholders' funds. This month Bates won gold for leading dealer group in the Automotive Management Awards.

##Edward Belcher--left## In the revised AM100 Edward Belcher (left) has his company at No56 with a turnover of £109m.

The total turnover of the AM100 now stands at £26.209bn, compared with £25.934bn in June. This represents a marginal increase in the region of about 1%.

Most companies show a marginal increase/decrease, but those showing a significant rise in turnover include Arnold Clark, Camden Motors and Lookers. The turnover of Pendragon, which became the first UK £2bn sales motor retailer, has fallen significantly, to £1.8bn.

RSM Robson Rhodes, which collaborates with Automotive Management in producing the listing of the biggest 100 motor retailers by turnover, has produced an important new table.

Bates and a number of other motor retailers with regional groups or specialist marques dominate the list. Of the top five companies in the AM100, only Reg Vardy and Sanderson Bramall make the grade.

Mr Belcher said: “We have spent two years trying to get away from assessment on return on sales which is fairly meaningless.

“I am only interested in return on capital employed which gives me the funds to reinvest in the business. So I am delighted to head the new AM listing which rewards which rewards what we are concentrating on.”

Mr Belcher said his aim remained making a 5% return on capital. The company was running at 3.7/3.8% though running the business successfully was getting tougher.

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