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Peoples profits up 26.3% with record results

Nicola and Brian Gilda

AM100 dealer group Peoples has posted pre-tax profits up 26.3% to £5.51 million and turnover increased by £31.7m to £236.7m for its results for the year ended July 31.

It’s the fourth year in a row the group has reported record profits, turnover and year-on-year sales.

Group strategy and operations director Nicola Gilda said she is optimistic about future performance of the group, with profits being re-invested in the business.

Brian Gilda, Peoples' chairman said further expansion of the business would be “actively pursued if appropriate opportunities presented themselves”.

Gilda, said this year’s results had been delivered “in the face of fierce competition” and he added: “That, coupled with the outstanding loyalty of our customers is what makes these results special.”

Sales across the group, which comprises four dealerships in the north-west of England and three in Scotland, totalled 17,447 vehicles, a year-on-year rise of 8.1%.

Incremental volume growth was particularly noted in Merseyside which Gilda highlighted as a consequence of the aggressive nature of the Peoples pricing strategy aimed at giving the customer the best deal in the marketplace, resulting in more vehicles being sold.

Gilda highlighted the performance of Peoples’ commercial vehicle division, which was expanded in the previous financial year after it delivered a volume increase of 87%, an achievement he attributed to an improving UK economy.

He said: “This year’s achievements and positive outlook do not mean we can allow ourselves the luxury of taking our foot off the gas.

“The feel good factor is more difficult to determine as Governments at Westminster and Holyrood have to be factored into the mix and, of course, everyone in business whether large or small, wants as much certainty as possible for investment and employment decisions.”

Peoples employs 395 people across its dealerships in Scotland and England.

Nicola, one of two female directors on the company’s board of six, said: “With the introduction of new technologies, the customer’s experience of purchasing a car is changing and we ensure all Peoples staff are properly trained to engage and communicate fully with them.

“We have very loyal customers and we work hard to retain them and attract new ones because we know buyers will go where they get great products and service and feel comfortable doing business.

“We constantly re-invest profits from the business into modernising and refurbishing showrooms and technical facilities to benefit customers and staff.”

The group pays at least 10% above the national minimum wage with no age restrictions.

Gilda, who chairs the European Ford Dealer Council, also addressed concerns raised by the VW emissions scandal with an assurance given to him by James Farley, chairman and chief executive of Ford Europe.  

In a letter to him, Farley wrote: “Let me be absolutely clear. We do not use ‘defeat devices’ and we do not deliberately mislead the public, regulators or investors. Our award-winning vehicles and engines meet all applicable emissions standards in Europe.”

Peoples was listed this month at 115 in the Top Track 250 UK companies in research carried out for accounting giants Grant Thornton and Barclays Bank.

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