North-West based Swansway Garages has seen a 68% increase in profits before tax for the first quarter of 2013.
The group, which won the AM Best Retail Group (more than 10 sites) in February, is showing a PBT of £1.57m against £933,000 for the same period last year. The first quarter results reflect a 1.6% return on sales up from 1.2% in the same quarter last year.
Turnover is up 22% to £97.5m for the first quarter, with sales volumes also increasing, a 9% increase on new vehicle sales to 2,474 units and a 37% increase in used vehicles sales to 1,876 units.
John Smyth, Swansway director, said: “Our fledgling businesses, which are Honda and Peugeot franchises, are now in their third operational year and have moved into the black.
“Mid 2012 we acquired a failing Land Rover dealership, which; due to the exceptional demand for the brand, in both the new market ,with the new Range Rover and Evoque; and a very healthy demand in the used car sector, is already in a profit situation.
“We have also noted a significant uplift in used van sales across our four Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles sites. This indicates to us that self-employed people are realising that not changing their work vehicles for newer, more efficient models, is, quite simply false economy.
“They’ve put off purchasing, waiting for the ‘tide to turn’ and realised that, there is never a ‘perfect moment.”
David Smyth, joint director at the group, believes the performance figures come on the back of 10 years.
He said: “After 01 years in business, our company culture, to ensure everything we do is caring, honest and proud, is really deeply ingrained in all our staff.
“We’ve consistently climbed the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For list (37th this year) and this year, won the AM Award for Best Motor Retail Group over 10 sites.
“I really believe that our strongly motivated team of both staff and management have been the key to this success. We operate all our franchises with the same passion and commitment, offering all our customers exceptional service and a reason to return.”
David Smyth said the “focus and determination” from the group had allowed the business to take advantage of buoyant used car sales which gave pre-tax profits a boost.
Read AM's Face to Face interview with Swansway in June's AM100 print edition.