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JCT600 to grow despite profits dip

AM100 14th-placed dealer group JCT600 has reported a £40m increase in turnover in its 2006 accounts, driven by new businesses and performance improvements.

The sales total of £515m included £22m which came from two acquired businesses, Volkswagen Bradford and Peugeot Hull.

Despite pressure on vehicle margins, gross profit margins have remained steady, at 13.4% against 13.7% in 2005. However, operating expenses have increased, and operating profit has dipped to £16.3m from £19.7m in 2005.

Gearing has reduced to 25% from 34%. The company stated: “Sufficient funds are therefore in place to support the group’s programme of selective expansion and commitment to developing the best facilities for our customers and employees.

“The overall aim is to remain the strongest and most efficient motor group within our region.”

This year, JCT600 has already bought Bentley Newcastle from Inchcape and a Vauxhall dealership at Castleford, near Wakefield, from Pendragon.

John Tordoff, chief executive, said he was not in talks with any acquisition targets currently, but the group was “always on the lookout”.

He expects turnover to be up again at the end of 2007, although he predicts more difficult trading conditions in the second half.

Pre-tax profit per employee stands at £12,807. According to a staff survey carried out in December 2006, which had an 81% response rate, JCT600 remains a good place to work, with 89% of employees saying they had no plans to leave the business in the next two years.

Capital investment for the year totalled £7.7m, which included the relocation of the group’s head office and contract hire operations to Apperley Bridge, the relocation of the Peugeot dealership in Bradford and commencement of building a flagship Porsche Centre in Leeds.

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