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Just Car Clinics in talks to grow network to 16

Bodyshop group Just Car Clinics is building on its profitability with the aim of adding to its 13-site network.

Half-year results for the York-based company reveal operating profit from continuing operations has risen by more than a third to £408,756 from £257,144 achieved in the first six months of 2004. Turnover is up 7.4%, to £12.5m from £11.7m.

The company credits its growth to increased efficiency and attracting more business from insurers, who supply the majority of its work through direct repair programmes.

Its management has kept a tight rein on costs to maintain net operating expenses at 39% of sales, and has focused on new customer service and staff training initiatives aimed at strengthening Just Car Clinics’ market position.

This included rolling out a web-based programme to all sites earlier this year, which allows customers to monitor the repair status of their vehicle, and can send emails or text message updates.

Just Car Clinics also expects to open a bespoke training centre by the end of the year.

Chief executive Barry Whittles wants to expand his operation by buying up to three suitable bodyshops within 50 miles from the existing sites in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire.

“A number of potential targets have been investigated during 2005, with some negotiations still in progress and other opportunities to be pursued,” he says.

“We’re confident that the successes of the first six months will be continued and believe that the prospects for growth are very good.”

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