DAKSH Gupta, CEO of Marshall Motor Holdings, has said he is ‘really pleased’ with the group’s half-year results, which were released this morning.
Speaking exclusively to Car Dealer Magazine, Gupta, pictured, said: ‘I’m really pleased. We got all the teams together in September last year, we knew the new car market was widely forecast to decline, there was a lot of uncertainty out there and we had a plan. We didn’t sit there and say we’ll do nothing about it, we had a clear plan, we took positive management action.’
Gupta was most happy with the company’s balance sheet, which was underpinned by £121.1 million of freehold and long leasehold property. However, there are areas he wants to see improvement in.
‘I would liked to have seen us do a bit better on unit volumes, but we’ve focused on margin improvement,’ he said. ‘It’s a really fine balance because we’ve seen lots of companies focus on volume and then blow their margin, so we don’t want to be busy fools because that’s not very clever. The issue there is you can drive lots of volume and make worse money.’
Gupta also boasted of Marshall’s ‘financial firepower’ and explained how this allowed the group to continue on a path of steady, sensible investment and consolidation.
‘The financial firepower of this group is quite scary,’ he said. ‘If we wanted to do 100 million acquisitions tomorrow, we could do that – I’m not saying we’re going to do that, but it’s so nice to have the ability to do that should the opportunity come up, but we would only do that in a strategic sense for the right brands in the right markets.
‘We run the business very prudently and I think you can see that with the way we operate, but I think we’re in a really good position to continue on the journey of consolidation we’ve been on for the last decade.’