Peoples, the UK’s largest independent Ford dealer, has announced record-breaking financial results and sales performance for the year to July 31, 2014.
The group, chaired by Brian Gilda, reported increased profits, turnover and year-on-year sales. The results build on last year’s performance which also set new records.
The company’s annual report, published today shows pre-tax profits for the year ended July 31 of £4.361 million (up 7.8% YOY) on turnover that grew by £19.1m to £205m (10.3%).
Peoples sold 16,129 vehicles in its last financial year, up 8.3% YOY.
Gilda said the results had been delivered “in the face of fierce competition”.
“What makes these results special is the outstanding loyalty of our customers.”
Sales across the group, which comprises three dealerships in Scotland and four in the north-west of England, totalled more than 16,000 vehicles, a year-on-year rise of 8.3%.
The commercial vehicle division expanded earlier this year and is running at 38% above the previous year.
In more than 30 years with Ford, Gilda said the current vehicle range was “unquestionably the best it has ever been”.
“No matter where you touch the range, the quality of the product, the cycle plan for future models and the support from Ford Credit is nothing short of spectacular. It really is the best line-up I have ever seen.”
The range will be further boosted as Peoples leads the way in introducing the new FordStore concept at the company’s flagship sites in Edinburgh and Liverpool where the iconic, new Mustang and luxury Mondeo Vignale range will be sold.
FordStores will open in Liverpool later in 2014 and in Edinburgh in the first quarter of 2015.
He said this year’s positive results did not mean “we can allow ourselves the luxury of taking our foot off the gas” and he would continue to look for possible opportunities to expand in Scotland and England.
Gilda, who has just been appointed chairman of the European Ford dealer council, said: “The overall new car marketplace in the UK continues to grow but it could be reaching its peak as manufacturers turn their attention and financial muscle to support those other European countries which are slowly recovering from the financial tsunami that nearly consumed them.”
He also had a message for politicians at Holyrood and Westminster. “Now the Scottish referendum is behind us, I hope we can now return to inclusive politics and strategies which promote economics and concentrate on what is needed north and south of the border,” he said.
“We need to progress those investment decisions which were on the back-burner and get on with creating real jobs which are the lifeblood of our country.”
Peoples employs 395 people across its dealerships in Scotland and England and the company invests heavily in staff training to deliver the highest level of customer service.
Gilda said: “Consumers will go where they get great products and service and feel comfortable doing business. I do all I can to ensure we all benefit.”
Online at www.peoplescars.co.uk , alongside car stock and services, Gilda’s personal customer message states: “Peoples want to sell you, your relatives and friends, a new or used car or van, service, parts and anything else that is of use to you and not only now, but for all time.
“Therefore, if my company or anybody from my company lets you down, I want to know about it.
"The buck stops with me, that's the way it should be and indeed how it has always been." He provides his email address and promises to respond within 24 hours. "How many Chairmen of any company can promise you that?” he said.
As part of the company’s social responsibility policy, Gilda introduced a salary scheme which ensures employees receive at least 10% above the minimum wage and this year Peoples extended sponsorship backing to Children 1st, the Scottish Motor Racing Club and Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band worth a combined £100,000 a year.
Peoples Group consists of seven Ford main dealerships, three in central Scotland and four in the north west of England, located at Hermiston Quay, Edinburgh; Callendar Road, Falkirk; Almondvale, Livingston; Orrell Lane, Bootle; Bridge Road, Prescot; Speke Hall Road, all Liverpool; Whalley Road, Accrington. The company is privately-owned with institutional shareholders.