Turnover was up 4% on a like-for-like basis to £1.84 billion (2002 £1.88 billion). Profit before tax, goodwill and exceptionals rose 27% to £38.2 million (2002 £30.2 million). Pendragon's operating margins pre-goodwill amortisation were up to 2.8% from 2.3% the year before, while profit before tax rose 24% to £44.3 million (2002 £35.8 million).
Basic earnings per share rose 40% to 24.5p and Pendragon' total dividend rose 10.5% to 7.60p (2002 6.88p). Operating cash inflow of £59.1 million represented a slight reduction on 2002's £62.9 million.
Pendragon chief executive Trevor Finn commented on the 2003 results, “We have had another very successful year. We have demonstrated that our strategy of focusing on high quality businesses in prime locations, while developing long-term manufacturer relationships, is enabling us to deliver increasing returns to our shareholders.
”I believe that 2004 will be an exciting year for Pendragon. The acquisition of CD Bramall will enable us to grow with our selected manufacturer partners and provide us with significant economies of scale. It will also confirm our position as the UK's largest car retailer, allowing us to take full advantage of strong market conditions and the European Commission's recent changes to the Block Exemption rules.”