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Tight margins hit William Jacks

In spite of the buoyant UK car market, tight new car margins lead to disappointing 2003 results for the William Jacks group. Profit before tax was £825,000 (2002=£5m, including £4.2m exceptional income from sale of the group's Mercedes Benz territories).

Prior to provisions the operating profit from continuing operations increased by 40 per cent. Turnover in respect of continuing businesses increased by 32 per cent.

Says a company spokesman: “After a strong first-half performance, global uncertainty and the UK economic downturn impacted upon us significantly. Vehicle margins reduced with the need to achieve manufacturer volume expectations and additionally we had uncertainty with regard to the future of our BMW businesses, which had an adverse impact on staff retention and the general trading performance of the three BMW dealerships.”

* The group has today announced it is to develop a Volvo dealership on freehold land and buildings at Portslade, Sussex, which it has acquired for £1.8m.

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