JCT600 is celebrating a record set of annual financial results for 2018 after the car retail group’s turnover rose 2% to £1.28 billion and profits held flat in what was described as a “challenging year”.
Used vehicle sales proved to be the Bradford-based AM100 group’s key performance driver, with sales up 9% in a market which delivered a 2.1% decline overall, according to a statement issued by the group.
Revenues from aftersales also grew by 3.9% as the business worked hard to offset an 8.4% fall in new car sales on a like-for-like basis.
The result was the rise to a new record turnover and a slight uplift in operating profit before exceptional items, the figure rising from £23.1m in 2017 to £23.2m for the year ending December 31, 2018.
John Tordoff, chief executive of JCT600, said: “As a long-established Yorkshire-based business with a reputation for leading the way in the automotive sector, we are proving able to continue to outperform the market.
“While keeping customers firmly at the core of everything we do, we are nimble enough to be able to adapt to changing conditions while continuing to invest for the future.”
Nigel Shaw, group finance director at JCT600, added: “It has been a challenging year for the new car market with supply issues caused by the introduction of the WLTP emissions regime resulting in restrictions in many brands.
“However, we have been able to focus on developing other areas of our operations, such as used car sales and aftersales services, as well as keeping a close eye on costs in order to grow our revenue.
“It’s also encouraging that despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty, customer confidence and economic performance remain relatively strong, boosted by low unemployment and interest rates.”
During its 2018 financial year, JCT600 said that it had continued its commitment to improving the customer experience by upgrading its showrooms, investing a total of £9 million including major refurbishments at Porsche Sheffield and Porsche Newcastle as well as creating a new call centre in Chesterfield.
In addition, the group acquired the two Jaguar and Land Rover dealerships in Doncaster from Pendragon last July, and in September announced that it would be representing Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Leeds.
The group also increased investment in its digital platform by 14% in 2018, with the number of visitors to the website rising by 20% and smart phone traffic growing by 33%.
JCT600 said in its results statement that the total number of web leads generated during 2018 had increased by 15%, and followers of JCT600’s four main social media channels rose by 51%.
Founded in 1946 as Brooklands Garage on Sticker Lane, Bradford, by current chairman and 2018 AM Hall of Fame inductee Jack Tordoff, JCT600 has grown from a single dealership into the largest privately owned business in Yorkshire.
With 48 dealerships from Yorkshire and the North East to Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, the group represents 18 of the world’s leading car marques and has a team of 2,250 colleagues.