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Quicks sees profits rise to £2.9m

Profits at Quicks Group have recovered now that major restructuring costs and other exceptional charges have been eliminated. In the first six months the company made £2.9m, up 64% from £1.8m year-on-year year. Turnover was down from £317.8m to £305.9m.

The major turnaround came in the parts division which saw profits rise £600,000. Last year the division was hit by a £200,000 bad debt caused by the financial collapse of one of its largest Ford dealer customers. The division has also saved £300,000 in costs.

Quicks has invested heavily in e-commerce and customer handling. Quickco On-Line, a business to business parts order system, was launched in July and will be installed first in all UK Ford dealers and then in the wider customer base.

A central customer service centre is also being developed in Scotland. Three Scottish dealers and three from the south of England have already been connected.

Michael Moore, Quicks chairman, predicted Government moves to allow dealers to buy at fleet terms would “be of benefit to larger groups, such as Quicks, in the medium to longer term”.

The company has reduced debt with half year gearing down to 43% and continues to dispose of “marginal business” including two Honda, one Citroen and one Renault franchise.

It has also launched a sub-prime finance operation.

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