Fleetlease, the contract hire and fleet management division of Hitachi Credit UK, has reported a pre-tax loss of £2.1m for the year to March, despite increasing business volume by 8%, due to slumping residual values.
Hitachi made an exceptional charge of £5m to offset the poor market values in the used car sector.
Simon Oliphant, Fleetlease managing director said: “The market conditions are difficult, but we are in a strong position and have every reason to feel confident about the future.”
Fleetlease has, over the past 12 months, moved its business emphasis towards managed vehicles, where it does not carry the depreciation risk. It has raised the number of managed vehicles by 47%, rising to 9,800 out of a total fleet of 25,000.
In January it opened a new retail site, Fleetlease Direct, near Newbury, Berks, which enables the public to purchase ex-company cars.
Mr Oliphant said: “The site is performing well and shows every indication that we will improve our income from disposal of vehicles, which will help reduce losses through the fall in used car prices.”