Car dealer group Perrys Motor Sales enjoyed record revenue and profit in 2014, its newly published annual results show.
Revenue increased by 8% to £531 million for the year to December 31 (2013: £491m), while operating was at £11m (£7.7m). Profit margin is at 1.9% compared to 1.38 in 2013. Gearing is at 60.21 (79.19), return on capital employed 12.82 (11) and EBITDA £13,037 (£9,665).
Gross profit margin was up by 14.4% compared to 14.3% the previous year.
New car unit sales grew by 8% and used by 3%. Gross margin on new vehicles improved by 8% and 10% on used compared to 2013. Vehicle sales accounted for 87% of revenue and 60% gross profit.
In the results' statement chairman Ken Savage acknowledges that with retail sales down in January by 5.5%, it was a difficult start to the year, but "February has shown signs of improvement".
He said: "The company's continued success in vehicle sales is a reflection of the investment in facilities and, more importantly staff. We have in-house training facilities in the north and south where all our sales staff undergo a structured training course.
"In 2015 we will be extending our management training in order to improve skills to deal with an increasingly complicated trading environment."
Savage says the company is still interested in acquiring dealerships (it acquired the Hyundai franchise in Luton in 2014), plus spent £1.3m on improving facilities. The level of expenditure is set to increase this year. Since year end Perrys has purchased the freehold of two of its dealerships for £2.4m. A new parts warehouse will be also invested in.
Revenue for aftersales was 7% up on 2013, but the level of margin was "slightly down".
The results also acknowledge Perrys' success in the 2015 AM Awards: it won Best Social Media Campaign, Best Use of Television and/or Video, Digital Initiative of the Year and managing director Ray Sommerville won Business Leader of the Year.
The company announced his retirement in January and the appointment of Darren Ardron as his successor. Sommerville stay with the company as chief executive until retirement on June 30.