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New strategy for dealer group HR Owen includes acquisitions and entertainment

HR Owen has today revealed its new strategy for sustainable growth, which includes expanding its luxury car dealerships, adding driving skills and motorsport businesses and seeking suitable targets for takeover.

The dealer group, which specialises in luxury franchises such as Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, was put under a strategic review last year by chairman Jon Walden in order to make it more sustainable and profitable.

 At today's AGM, chief executive Andy Duncan is outlining HR Owen's new 'Experience is Everything' strategy, which has the aim of making HR Owen into the organisation that offers "the very best luxury car experience in the world".

It wants stronger relationships with its clients throughout their entire period of car ownership, from pre-purchase through to tailored aftersales offerings.

It also wants to provide additional products and services that enhance clients' ownership experience, such as driving skills training, experience events, motorsport and upgrading in-car digital infotainment systems.

Duncan said the group will build on the market shares of its existing businesses with Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Bugatti.

It will also actively look at options with other luxury car brands. This includes looking for strategic, value-enhancing acquisitions to create a bigger scale and a stronger base on which to build. 

 Luxury marques which HR Owen does not currently represent include Aston Martin, McLaren and Porsche.

The strategy also includes ambitions for more brand partnerships like that recently announced with The Berkeley Hotel in London, and constant control on costs by closing loss-making businesses.

Duncan said: "The focus is on maximising the strong potential of the business by fully exploiting our market leading position, and offering our customers the ultimate luxury car experiences.

"I am confident that with the new strategy we can both drive transformational growth and deliver significant growth in shareholder value."

At the AGM, Walden reports that so far this year profits are in line with internal expectations.

"New car sales have been steady, and used car trading has been strong with unit margins ahead of the same period last year.

Walden says Q1 aftersales results have been affected by disrupted trading while HR Owen relocated its Bentley workshop to Wandsworth, but it now expects improvements from aftersales.

 Net cash is ahead of budget and of the level at the same point last year.

Walden expects a higher proportion of profits to come in the second half of the year, due to the expected delivery dates of certain key new cars, including the Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari FF and new Bentley Continental GT.

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