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Arnold Clark pre-tax profits up 16.9% in 2012

Arnold Clark has posted pre-tax profits of £60.5 million and turnover of £2.48 billion in 2012, an increase of 16.9% and 10.3% respectively.

New vehicle sales increased by 10.3% to 79,979 units and used car sales increased by 4.6% to 122,398 units in 2012. Fleet sales increased by 11.5%.

Operating profit before goodwill amortisation increased by 18.3% to £73m helping the group to surpass net assets of £500m for the first time.

Eddie Hawthrone, Arnold Clark group managing director, said: “2012 was an exceptional year for the group in acquisitions with 21 additional outlets being added. The full positive effect of these new additions is apparent in the results.

“Our strategy is to continue to keep the group well-funded, control our costs and remain alert to any opportunities which will arise in the market place.”

The group made five acquisitions in the first half of 2012 and a further 12 sites were added in the second half of the year, the largest of which was the John R. Weir business, taking the total group to 34 sites.

The business made a “significant” investment in its website in 2012 and has seen a 49% increase in visitors as a result. Particular attention was paid to increasing interaction with customers through social media and further technological advances which are providing the business with “new and innovative marketing avenues”.

Sir Arnold Clark, chairman, said: “While the wider economic situation remains uncertain, the consensus in the motor industry is for modest growth in both new and used retail markets.

“Our hard work and impressive results in recent years mean that we are confident about our ability to achieve profitable expansion, both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

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