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Quicks reports almost 50% slump in interim profits

The burden of exceptional items on the accounts of Quicks Group has pushed the dealer group's profits into the red for the first six months of 2001.

Profit before tax, goodwill and exceptional items to June 30, 2001 was £3.3m, a 7.5% increase on the Year 2000 figure of £3.1m. However, with the exceptionals taken into consideration the profit before tax total was £1.7m (2000: £2.9m) a drop of 41.9%.

The exceptional charges are £650,000 to cover the closure of Quicks' Iveco operations in Manchester by the end of this year and the ending of Iveco business in Chester in the early part of 2002. Closing the Quicks Citroen operation in Lincoln added a further £475,000 in exceptional costs and closing the Express Factors parts operations in Wigan and Warrington added £200,000.

In its motor division Quicks' chairman Michael Moore said there had been significant profit improvement in its Ford business and strong Peugeot performance, resulting in a motor division profit increase of 8%. New and used vehicle volumes increased 6%. New retail volumes grew by 16%, but fleet sales dropped 7%.

Commercial vehicle profits were down also due to the transfer of the Iveco properties.

“Lengthening service intervals and improving parts reliability have continued to affect trading in aftersales and profits have reduced. We have responded by rationalising the administration in our stand-alone bodyshops and in August we disposed of our bodyshop in Barnet. We will take an exceptional profit on disposal of this operation of approxiamately £350,000 in the second half,” Mr Moore said.

The outlook for the rest of the year he said was, provided there is not a downturnn in the economy and consumer demand can be maintained, results for the full year “should reflect further progress”.

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