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Losses lead to redundancies at William Jacks

Dealer group William Jacks has this morning announced that losses amid ‘difficult’ trading conditions will lead to staff redundancies.

While turnover remained relatively stable at £96.5m compared to the year-to-July 31 last year, a pre-tax loss in the same period in 2005 of £825,000 compares starkly to a profit last year of £250,000.

This loss is after a profit of £525,000 from the sale of William Jacks’ freehold premises in Portslade, announced in August.

The company said it was now introducing cost-saving measures, including a 10% cut in staff across the group. A little over 500 people work at William Jacks.

The company says this will make savings of more than £1.5m in a full year.

“As widely reported, trading generally in the sector has been, and remains difficult, with margins particularly under great pressure,” Chairman Dato’ Tan Kay Hock chairman, said.

“Although the first six months have been difficult for our group, our BMW and MINI dealerships in Sunningdale continue to perform well. We now have unconditional planning consent for the planned aftersales facility to be constructed in South Ascot which, when completed in spring 2006, will benefit these already strong operations. Our Land Rover franchise continues to be profitable and the recent arrival of the new Range Rover Sport will produce a more robust performance in our second half.

“Whilst our Jaguar businesses generally have performed better than the national average, profitability has been severely eroded by extreme pressure on margins and a significant decline in market share. Our Volvo group is now more settled following recent relocation issues, however pressure on margins, especially in the corporate sector, remains a challenge.”

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