The latest deal, for an undisclosed sum, was the final part of a three site purchase from Whitehouse Group, which included Southend and Harold Wood in December, followed by Docklands Audi at the end of January.
The company, winner of last year’s AM small retail group award, already has Audi sites at Stansted, Hitchin and Chelmsford and the new acquisitions are part of plans to dominate the Essex area as well as having penetration into Hertfordshire.
The deal adds £60m to Hodgson’s turnover, scheduled to hit £125m this year with profits in excess of £2m. Hodgson also plans to open a new Audi site in Colchester, currently the only major town in Essex not to have representation by the German brand. This is likely to be an existing site, rather than a new build and Hodgson Automotive is currently looking for suitable locations.
“At the moment we have three successful businesses and now we have three new ones which aren’t as successful. Despite a £60m turnover there is not a lot of profit,” says Kevin Walter, Hodgson managing director.
“Our challenge is to transfer the strengths of the existing businesses into the new ones. We will look at the details within the acquisitions and hopefully generate more return,” he adds.
The company has not ruled out further acquisitions this year but the first concern is to develop the existing business. “We place particular emphasis on working with our 300 staff to develop the strong team culture,” Walter says.