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Caffyns’ results announced

Caffyns has raised its 2004 profits, after a VAT refund made it easier for the Eastbourne-based motor group to cope with the reorganisation of its MG Rover network.

Pre-tax profits to March rose from £3.1m to £3.3m on sales up a shade to £155.7m.

Operating profits fell to £2.8m from £3.9m after loses of £2.13m associated with closure of MG Rover. The VAT refund and associated interest added £3.4m to the pre-tax figure.

Chief executive Simon Caffyn said that the company had taken action ahead of the MG Rover closure and its dealerships had either closed or been switched to Vauxhall or other marques.

He said fears of a declining property market and a slowdown in retail activity are “not welcome news” and, after a slow period in January and February, March was stronger but the outlook remained “challenging”.

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