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Slowdown for Jacks post Mercedes

William Jacks suffered a slowdown in the second half of last year due to global uncertainty and economic downturn.

Pre-tax profits for the year ending January 31, 2003, showed a slight increase at £825,000 on a like-for-like basis. Profits over the previous 12 months smashed the £5m mark, but were distorted by the execeptional £4.22m Jacks made on the disposal of its Mercedes territories at Severnake and Sunningdale.

Operating profit from continuing business is up 40 per cent, while turnover increased 32 per cent, although Jacks' chairman Dato'Tan Kay Hock says the difficult second half offset gains made in the first six months. “Vehicle margins reduced with the need to achieve manufacturer volume expectations,” he adds.

Disposal of BMW sites in Cobham and Wimbledon, to be finalised next month, will raise £6.2m.

William Jacks will be focusing on developing its Sussex-based Volvo franchise over the next few months. The new £1.8m one-acre site in Portslade was bought from Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) and funded by a business loan from Lloyds TSB. The showroom has double the display bays compared to Jack's existing outlet in Hapstead with five additional workshop bays. Caffyns, the south-east-based retailer, has announced pre-tax profits of £4.7m on a turnover of £148.5m for the year ending 31 March 2003. This compares to the same period in 2002 when the firm made almost £2.8m on its £160.2m turnover operation.

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