Vantage Motor Group has published details of a 14.3% decline in profit before tax in a set of 2018 financial results published a month after its acquisition in a management buy-out (MBO).
The Knaresborough-based retail business, which founder Mark Robinson sold to chairman Phil White, finance director Tim Swindin and operations director Andrew Mallory in December, saw pre-tax profits decline to £1.3m as turnover rose 1.6% to £284.7m in the period ended December 31, 2018.
In comments made in the annual report, Swindin said: “Trading has been difficult in 2019 with performance in the first half of the year in particular being below our expectations.
“As a result of this under performance, a number of cost saving actions have been taken. We have also closed two loss making businesses in the third quarter of this year.
“While we anticipate a disappointing result for 2019, the board believes that the actions taken in the second half of the year will put the company in a strong position for 2020.”
Vantage’s 2018 result ensured that the group remained in the black after returning to profitability in 2017, when the sale of ‘unprofitable businesses’ helping to turn around 2016's losses.
The addition of Wolverhampton Toyota and Lexus from Charles Clark Motors in March 2018 helped to boost its 2018 results and the group reported the disposal of more businesses following the latest reporting period.
Vantage exited the Hyundai Motor UK franchised network with the closure of its Preston dealership, but increased its Lexus representation with the opening of a new outlet with the Japanese brand on the same site.
It also closed its “loss making” Citroen Morcombe and Honda Barnsley businesses.
The group now operates a total of 22 locations – the same number as of December 2017 –with Toyota (13), Lexus (4), Citroen, Honda, Kia (2) and Skoda.
Vantage reported that, despite 2018’s declining market, its new car sales had grown in volume by 7.5% to 10,026 (2017: 9,329) as used car sales grew 6.1% to 9,897 (2017: 9,332).
Aftersales revenues grew by 5.6% to £25.6m (2017: £24.3m).
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