JCT600's annual turnover broke the £1 billion mark once again as sales rose by 12% to £1.145bn for the year ended December 31 in the business’s 70th year, it has reported.
Pre-tax profit rose marginally in 2015 to £18.61m (2014: £18.56m) with the group continuing to perform well despite pressure on margins in a very competitive market.
The Bradford-based operation’s new vehicle sales once again outperformed the market, rising by 10% compared with the industry average of a 6% increase for the brands it represents.
Aftersales growth saw turnover rise by 12%, meanwhile, with gross profit up 13%.
JCT600 chief executive, John Tordoff, said: “It has been another year of strong growth as we have continued with our focus of striving to be the best car retailer rather than the biggest.”
JCT600 has continued to invest in further improving the customer experience, implementing new systems and increasing staff numbers to a 2,300 strong team.
It also made an £18.3m acquisition of two Mercedes Benz dealerships in Harrogate and York in line with its strategy of being a niche regional operation.
In July 2015, JCT600 launched a new fully responsive web platform which has resulted in a 300% rise in visitors to the website from mobile devices and a 64% increase in leads.
Tordoff said: “The acquisition of another two Mercedes Benz dealerships in prime North Yorkshire locations has further enhanced our geographic spread and our innovative web offering is making it easier for customers to engage with us from whatever browsing device they choose.”
JCT600 was founded in 1946 as Brooklands Garage on Sticker Lane, Bradford, by current chairman Jack Tordoff who subsequently built the business from a single dealership into the largest privately owned business in Yorkshire.
The business now has 50 dealerships across from Yorkshire and the North East to Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire representing 18 of the world’s leading car marques.
Looking to the prospects for the year ahead, Tordoff added: “While the market is extremely competitive, we have proved able to continue to win market share based on our 70 year heritage of offering great value, a choice of quality brands and outstanding service.
"We are constantly looking for ways of improving the customer’s experience with ongoing investments in our team and dealerships as well as implementing industry leading initiatives.
“We are particularly proud of the progress we have made in our quest to be ‘the best place to work’ with JCT600 this year achieving the Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Companies to Work For’ accreditation.”
Nigel Shaw, group finance director at JCT600, added: “The economic outlook has improved greatly in the last few years and, once the Brexit debate is behind us, we expect business and consumer confidence to remain buoyant going forward.
“With our long heritage and excellent reputation, JCT600 is well placed to continue to take full advantage of these favourable conditions and we hope to see a period of sustained growth.”