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Stoneacre ‘well-positioned for continued expansion’, 2020/21 results reveal

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Stoneacre Motor Group remains “well-positioned for continued expansion” after 2020/21 annual financial results detailed a near-170% rise in pre-tax profits.

The South Yorkshire-based AM100 car retail group revealed a turnover up by 1.5% to £972.935m (2019/20: £959.436m) and pre-tax profits of £26.4m (2019/20: £9.8m) in its reporting period to April 25, 2021.

Stoneacre grew in the period with the acquisition of Toyota, Lexus and Renault/ Dacia retailer Hodgson Newcastle and continued to expand after the period’s close through the acquisition of the North East's RMB Automotive and Jardine Motor Group Toyota sites in Durham and Sunderland.

It now has 64 sites across England and Wales, with 135 franchise sale points representing 25 manufacturers.

In its results statement, the group said: “Despite challenges trading conditions the group continues to perform at record levels and is well positioned to continue expansion with existing and new manufacturer partners.”

Stoneacre said that switching to click-and-collect sales process had helped it to minimise the impact of three COVID-19 lockdowns within its reporting period.

It also claimed over £15m in support from the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to ensure continuity of staffing, it said, however the business had been forced to “realign the company’s cost base to reflect trading conditions”.

At the end of April last year, Stoneacre's directors vowed to forego their salaries after taking the decision to furlough 3,000 employees due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic – vowing not to take a wage until the business “returns to profitability”.

Despite the opening of a new Stellantis Distrigo parts distribution centre in December 2020, Stoneacre reported that its parts revenue had declined by 5% in 2020/21.

It attributed this to a reduction in vehicle movements during lockdown.

Aftersales revenues rose by 8% to £90.6m (2019/20: ££83.6m), meanwhile.

Stoneacre’s Newark-based remarketing business ended its 2020/21 trading period generated a 25% uplift in profitability. The group said this had been aided by an increase in its scale, providing a greater volume of part-exchange vehicles.

Looking to the future, Stoneacre continues to develop its own future talent through its Stoneacre Academy.

In November the group revealed that the Government’s Minister for Skills, Alex Burghart MP, had congratulated the operation after it secured outstanding status following its first-ever Ofsted inspection.

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