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Peter Vardy to complete 50% of car sales online by 2023

Peter Vardy Group chief executive, Peter Vardy

Peter Vardy has revealed that it expects to complete 50% of its car sales online by 2023 after crediting a focus on used car sales and aftersales for profit growth in its 2018 financial results.

Ahead of the publication of its full-year results to December 31, 2018, via Companies House the AM100 2019’s 36th placed franchised car retail group reported that its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) had reached £10.75m last year, which it said laid the foundation for future growth.

Central to its plans for future retail success the company – which has invested in online retail start-up Silver Bullet – said that it intends to sell half of its vehicles online by 2023, with a target of 60% of all service bookings coming through online channels in the same year.

A study completed by the group this summer found that one-in-four Brits would be happy to buy their car online without taking a test drive.

Group chief executive, Peter Vardy, said: “We are manoeuvring to be at the forefront of the rapidly-changing environment within the motor trade.

“We have continued to build on 2018’s success during the current financial year, putting us in a strong position to achieve our objectives.”

The Glasgow-based retail group – which holds franchises for BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche and Vauxhall as well as two Peter Vardy CarStores in Glasgow and Dundee – delivered a 4.4% increase in used car sales as group turnover grew by 4% to £468m.

A statement published by the business today said: “Despite difficult market conditions, gross profit margins remained in line with the previous year at 12.7%.

“The group continued to operate above its objective of £500,000 of retained profit per outlet, leading to a small increase to £5.8m in retained profit after tax.”

Vardy said: “Our focus heading into 2018 was on two areas – driving used vehicle performance and maximising aftersales opportunities – and I am pleased to report positive results on both fronts.

“We are continuing to pursue our six-point strategy for growth, and are actively seeking expansion in both the physical and digital markets. The fact that we were working on our 2030 vision and strategy plans back in 2018 gives you an idea of the scope of our ambitions.”

During the reported period Peter Vardy continued to invest in its network of car showrooms with the addition of its second Porsche showroom, in Perth.

Set up as a single dealership in Perth in 2006, Peter Vardy now has 14 dealerships across Scotland and employs more than 800 people.

Last year saw 200 group employees join the company’s unique Partnership Share Scheme.

Engagement across the group also reached 92.5% of staff providing formal feedback on their experience of working for Peter Vardy, with 95% of those who responded saying they were proud to be part of the organisation.

Looking to the future, Peter said the group aims to take the lead in digital innovation and transformation, with heavy investment in e-commerce sales and aftersales products.

Among the group’s annual programme of charitable work, it has now completed its two-year OneChild initiative to help children in Uganda, which raised over £1m.

The group has now expanded the One Child programme to support charities in Scotland.

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