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Arbury Group delivers 8% turnover growth despite declining new car sales

Paul Goodwin, managing director, Arbury Group

Arbury Group has reported 8% growth in its annual turnover and a 5% increase in pre-tax profits in its financial results to December 31, 2017.

The Bromsgrove-based franchised retail group, which was the subject of a profile feature in AM earlier this year, posted revenues of £116.6 million (2017: £107.9m) and total pre-tax profit of £2 million (2017: £1.9m) for the period.

The company, which operates under its Cathedral Motor Company parent, holds 11 franchises representing Peugeot, Nissan, Skoda, Citroen, Fiat and Seat, and delivered its positive results despite a 5.3% decline in new car registrations.

Used vehicle sales increased by 12% while the aftersales department increased its revenues by 3%.

In his interview with AM earlier this year, Arbury managing director Paul Goodwin said that the group was looking to achieve growth with its current franchise partners following a period of organic growth.

The last franchised site added to the group’s portfolio was a £400,000 Seat dealership in Solihull, in June 2016, and the business has been the go-ahead to add another, new market area with the Spanish brand.

Goodwin said turnover of £116 million and return-on-sales of 2% during 2017 would be followed by a push towards 2.5% RoS across the group.

At least some of this will come from increasing efficiency.

He said: “There are areas in which we can cut costs. I’ve challenged my team to save £100,000 across the year – which amounts to just over £1,000 per site, or £250 per department, per month – and I think that’s achievable simply through looking at basic cost-cutting measures such as energy usage.

“There is profitability in paint protection and other add-ons, which can also make a huge difference.

“I’m confident that we can push 2.5% return-on-sales in 2018.”

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