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Scottish dealer lifts profits by £1.92m

One of Scotland’s biggest multi-car franchises turned in a pre-tax profit of £2.33 million in 2009 – an increase of £1.92m on the previous year.

Inverness-based Macrae & Dick put the improved results down to a recovery in used car values and the scrappage scheme that ended earlier this year.

Turnover in 2009 was fractionally up on 2008 at £129.45m, but group managing director Andy Grzesinski said used car prices, the effects of scrappage deals on new car sales and company-wide cost-cutting measures helped deliver a 1% rise in gross margins and contributed to a staggering 228% rise in operating profits to £1.71m.

But Grzesinski has raised concerns about recent downturns in sales and aftersales volumes since the General Election.

He says: “During the first part of 2010 trading was ahead of 2009 in the same period, but since the election there has been a downturn in market demand for new vehicles coupled with a lower than budgeted service and repair income.”

But the group managing director is pleased with Macrae & Dick’s overall performance in UK terms when it comes to new car sales in 2009.

While the national average showed a 6.4% fall in new sales Macrae & Dick recorded a downturn of just 3.6%.

“I’m pleased with that result,” he said. “I put that good performance down to our great customer loyalty – a strength we are continuing to build on.

“Customer retention is still the key to this business.”

Macrae & Dick employs 450 people across Scotland with Ford, BMW, Mini, Honda, Land Rover, Mazda and Jaguar franchises at locations from their large headquarters site in Inverness to Elgin, Perth and Stirling.

The firm also runs extensive bodyshop facilities and has Budget car hire operations in Inverness and Stirling.

The group annually turns over 10,000 vehicles selling 3,500 new and 3,500 used with some 3,000 going to trade.

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