MARSHALL Motor Group delivered further profit growth in a challenging market in 2018, it reported today.
The company, which operates more than 100 dealerships across the UK representing manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Ford, published its full-year results this morning.
Highlights included the fact that there was like-for-like revenue growth of 1.2 per cent in 2018, despite the new car market falling by 6.8 per cent last year and the used car market declining by 2.1 per cent.
Gross margin remained strong at 11.7 per cent, while underlying profit before tax was up 1.2 per cent to £25.7m.
Like-for-like total new vehicle unit sales were down 8.2 per cent due to the impact of WLTP and diesel challenges, the company reported.
But there was a strong used car performance at Marshall. Like-for-like unit sales were up 2.3 per cent with revenues up 8.1 per cent.
The company also reported further like-for-like aftersales revenue growth, up 2.3 per cent.
A strong balance sees the company having net assets of £200.4m (£2.57 per share), underpinned by £125.3m of freehold / long leasehold property and minimal net debt.
Another year of strong operational cash generation supported further capital investment of £23.8m.
Daksh Gupta, Marshall’s chief executive officer, pictured, today described the results as a ‘stellar’ set of figures.
He added: ‘Despite challenging new and used car markets, the group performed strongly, exceeding last year’s record result.
‘In light of the group’s strong financial position and confidence in its long-term prospects, we are pleased to announce a change to our dividend policy (to 2.5-3.5x, from 4-5x) and a 33.4 per cent increase in our full year dividend to 8.54p per share.
‘The board notes the latest forecast by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders for a further decline in the new car market in 2019 and is cognisant of the potential impact that the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union may have.
‘The board therefore remains cautious about the economic outlook for 2019. Our order book for the important March plate-change period is, however, encouraging and our outlook for the full year remains unchanged.’