Beadles Group has reported a 12% decline in pre-tax profits to £2.6 million in its first set of annual results since its acquisition by Group 1 Automotive.
In financial results to March 31st, the group saw its gross profit margin fall from 5.8% to 4.9%, while operating profit fell by 10% to £2.8 million despite a turnover of £289m up 7% on 2016’s £240m.
Tim Humphries, finance director at Beadles Group, which represents a number of volume and premium brands across Kent, told AM that Beadles' Q1 earnings were strong, however, thanks to March’s strong sales, and the group beat its performance in Q1 2016.
In an interview earlier this year – before the July takeover by Group 1 – Humphries said Beadles was in a strong position as it has no loans and it “washed through” its March part-exchanges early in April to release the capital, so the impact on cashflow has been small.
He added: “We’re bullish about the second half of the year. Overall, we have forecast for growth.”
Beadles bought a Jaguar business in Sidcup from Lancaster plc in May last year, later redeveloping its Land Rover site in the town to incorporate Jaguar, which was completed in August.
Humphries said the redevelopment had “impacted on both the existing Land Rover business and the incoming Jaguar business” due to the limited availability of space during the works.
Beadles’ Jaguar Land Rover franchises in Sidcup and Southend boosted turnover by 58% to £110m, while its Toyota franchises in Maidstone and Medway increased turnover by 5% to £31.6m, giving it an operating profit of £1m, up 8%.
Volkswagen franchises in Dartford, Sevenoaks, Bromley and Maidstone increased turnover by 3% to £99.9 million during the reporting period, with operating profit in the division jumping 89% to £560,000.
The company employs more than 500 people, sells Kia, Land Rover, Skoda, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volkswagen from 11 dealerships across Kent and south east London.