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Mitchell Group reports successful 2012 trading

Cheshire motor dealership Mitchell Group enjoyed a positive year of trading despite a "sense of gloom in the marketplace".

The company, which runs a dealership (with Lexus, Mazda and Skoda) and servicing hub next to Cheshire Oaks in Ellesmere Port, said it had been a mixed year for its different marques with Skoda performing well.

Turnover for the year to December 31, 2012 rose from £36.1 million to £37.2m while operating profit was up to £1.53m from £1.48m.

Pre-tax levels were broadly flat, up from £1.4m to £1.46m.

Mitchell Group, which has 87 staff, was founded in 1990 with £100 and a £10,000 overdraft at the Elf Oil service station in Warrington.

It expanded rapidly and the company has been operating from a 4.5-acre site at Cheshire Oaks for 12 years where it sells new Mazda, Lexus and Skoda vehicles alongside a range of used cars.

Notes accompanying the newly filed accounts said: "2012 saw the challenging economic conditions continue. Despite this, the company produced a successful year's trading, although we were markedly more conscious of the general sense of gloom in the marketplace.

"Operating profit increased, principally as a result of constant vigilance on expenditure. The various fortunes of the brands we represent continue to be mixed.

"The Skoda marque remains a major contributor to the overall profitability of the company with over 53,000 new cars sold nationally, 4,000 ahead of budget.

"Lexus launched the GS hybrid in the year but sales were below expectation."

The report said Mazda sales declined in both new and used cars but sales profitability increased due to tighter controls on expenses.

"Customer cost consciousness continues and produces the biggest challenge for annual maintenance and repairs," the report concluded.

"We increased our resources in our group marketing department, concentrating on the development of social media and a stronger online presence.

"Investment in latest website technology has reduced traditional advertising spend but increased awareness markedly."

Mitchell Group has reported an industry leading return on sale of 3.9%.

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