The Sytner Group has reported a fall in pre-tax profits in its preliminary results for the 14 months to February 28, 2001.
The pre-tax profit figure was £8.1m compared to £8.5m in 1999 on turnover for the same period at £596.9m (12 months £521.9m. 1999:£405.4m).
Laurence Vaughan, chief executive, said this year had proved “challenging”, but that the group was now much stronger.
“After the uncertainties of the last 18 months, trading has improved considerably. New car orders are up by more than 50% and we are confident of reporting first-class growth during the current year,” he said.
The greatest influence on the Sytner results, like so many other dealer groups, was the new car pricing debate.
Mr Vaughan said: “The manufacturers took far longer to respond to consumer pressure than expected and this had a considerable effect on our new car business. Whilst we maintained margins at very acceptable levels, volumes were around 10% less than we anticipated at the beginning of the period.”
Price reductions by the majority of manufacturers “has led to a very substantial recovery in our new car business” Mr Vaughan said.
Sytner results' highlights:
Sytner has 44 dealerships in the UK.