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Vertu Motors pre-tax profits almost quadruple

Robert Forrester

Pre-tax profits at Vertu Motors rose to £15.8 million from £4.4m in its 2013/14 trading period.

The top 10 AM100 car dealer group has this morning announced its audited results for the year to February 28 2014, showing a 33.8% year-on-year rise in revenues to £1.684 billion and a 259.1% leap in pre-tax profits.

Adjusted profit before tax, after exceptional charges, amortisation and charges, was 116% up at £17.5 million. Adjusted operating profit increased 96.7% to £17.9m, due to core businesses and acquisitions delivering an enhanced performance, the company said.

Vertu Motors, whose car dealerships trade under brands including Bristol Street Motors, Macklin Motors, Vertu and Farnell, increased its number of outlets to 108 in the period, with 14 new operations opened or acquired in the year, including Land Rover and Volkswagen franchises.

It delivered 65,132 new and 54,411 used vehicles in the year, a 26.3% rise overall and 11.5% growth like for like.

Overall gross margin fell to 11.4% from 11.8%, which Vertu said was due to the increase in the mix of vehicle sales which outstripped the growth in higher margin aftersales operations.

"This has been a transformational year for the group during which we have expanded significantly and sustainably, gained our first major premium franchise and developed scaled operations with both Land Rover and Volkswagen, and delivered record profits at every level" said Vertu Motors chief executive Robert Forrester.

"The board looks to the future with confidence as reflected in our increased dividend. The new and used car markets remain strong with our core business growing. Recently acquired under-performing businesses continued to be turned around.

"We have a strong pipeline of acquisition opportunities and the financial firepower to executive them and we have further strengthened management in the year to allow the expansion to continue."

During the year four new franchised-based operating divisions were created, and as recent acquisitions mature and improve the group expects to deliver improved margins and further organic growth.

Vertu's board has a goal of mirroring the UK market share of manufacturers in its portfolio of franchised dealerships.





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