AM Online

HR Owen's prestige focus produces good results

HR Owen has posted improved profits for the first half of the year despite the challenge of a "worsening economic climate".

Profit before tax rose from £1.4 million in the first half of 2007 to £1.8m and operating profits were up from £1.8m to £2.2m.

Turnover was £95.9m compared to £94.9m for the first half of 2007.

J P Macarthur, HR Owen chairman, said: "The results for the first six months were strong, particularly in the circumstances of the challenging and worsening economic climate.

“The group's concentration on ultra luxury saloons and super sports car franchises protected the results to a degree from the real market conditions as our new car business has, and continues to be, able to rely on a number of forward orders."

Over recent years HR Owen has reduced its exposure to the volume brands and its last two franchises for Volvo are expected to be sold in "the near future".

Macarthur said new models introduced by the manufacturers it represents, like the Bentley Brooklands, Ferrari Scuderia, Maserati GranTurismo, helped to create good results for the group.

Despite taking strong forward orders, Macarthur still expects the overall market to weaken in the second half of this year.

HR Owen finished the six month period with a strong balance sheet including cash balances of £6.4 million, compared to £5.7m and as of June, 30 2007, the group had no net debt.

Macarthur said: "In January, we implemented a major de-stocking exercise for used vehicles. This has proved to be a good decision as used car activity at the top end of the market has been affected by the adverse economic conditions."

HR Owen's aftersales revenues and profits were at record levels following its "excellent vehicle sales results of the last two years", which have increased its vehicle parcs for the brands it represents.

  • To read AM's full analysis on HR Owen's results see the September 5 issue. To subscribe to AM magazine click here or call 01733 468659.
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