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Benfield upbeat despite drop in profits for 2011

North East-based dealer group Benfield Motors saw pre-tax profits fall from £6 million to £3.6m last year but chief executive Mark Squires is still upbeat about the results.

Turnover increased from £380m to £415.5m and operating profit was down by 31% as the business battled against a tough market, rising costs and a decline in consumer confidence.

Squires told The Newcastle Journal: “The middle half of last year was a difficult period for the industry overall, but if you look at the results across our sector we’re outperforming our peers.

“I’m actually quite upbeat about our results. We’re focused on delivering the best customer experience we can and, in 2010, we launched a new programme called Be Benfield, which has further strengthened the relationship we have with our customers.”

Benfield has invested in its digital operations as customers move their purchasing research process online and has seen a 53% increase in visits to its website as a result.

Turnover was boosted by its Jennings Ford and Colebrook and Burgess acquisitions, which Squires said proves how much faith the business has in the market in the future.

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