Edinburgh-based John Martin Group reported a pre-tax loss of £408,000 in 2011.
Turnover dropped by £20 million to £64.8m as the business disposed of Vauxhall and Chevrolet sites in Edinburgh and Aberdeen to Peter Vardy in 2010 and a Citroen and Hyundai business in Stirling to Arnold Clark.
However operating profit did increase to £103,000 in comparison to a £446,000 operating loss in 2010.
The pre-tax loss was put down to higher interest and finance charges and no gains from the sale of the three dealerships.
Staff numbers reduced from 269 to 216.
According to Companies House directors’ remuneration increased from £508,000 to £525,000. The highest paid director saw pay fall from £171,000 to £160,000.
In the report to Companies House John Martin said: "2011 was a very challenging year for the group which has been reflected across the motor sector generally as the economic recession continues to bite.
"The group itself is continuing to monitor dealership profitability and is in discussions with various manufacturers to add further quality franchises to its portfolio."
Founded in the 1960’s, the John Martin Group has 11 car dealerships in Scotland, at Aberdeen, Stirling, Glasgow, Selkirk, Wallyford and Edinburgh selling 15,000 new and used cars annually.
The group trades under the brands Belmont and Murray Motor Company representing 12 franchises: Peugeot, Kia, Suzuki, Hyundai, Vauxhall, Aston Martin, Lotus, Volvo, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Rolls-Royce.
The latest development in the group was in June 2011, Suzuki signed up a new John Martin dealer in Aberdeenshire, Belmont Suzuki in a purpose-built showroom and service centre.
Aftersales facilities include four accident repair centres in Aberdeen, Bonnyrigg, Perth and Wallyford and manufacturer-approved servicing outlets at every location.