Brayley Honda St Albans, May 2022Brayley Honda St Albans, May 2022


Brayleys’ turnover rises but profit dips as higher costs and falling used car prices take their toll

  • Brayleys Cars publishes its accounts for 2023
  • Turnover is up by 22% but pre-tax profit is down by 7%
  • Increased costs and tumbling used car prices are highlighted

Time 10:03 am, June 28, 2024

New and used car dealership Brayleys saw its pre-tax profit slide on turnover that went up by more than a fifth last year.

Its newly published accounts for the year ended December 31, 2023 show that turnover for the Car Dealer Top 100 firm rose by 22% from £188.57m in 2022 to £230.68m last year, while profit before tax fell by 7% from £5.02m to £4.67m.

In the accompanying strategic report, signed on behalf of the board by CEO Paul Brayley, who founded the company in 2003, the directors blamed higher operating costs but said they were still pleased with the dealership chain’s performance.

The constraints on new car supply during the first half of the year eased off, which resulted in margins softening and volumes rising by 15% over the year.

Like-for-like used car volumes, meanwhile, increased by 15% as stock became more available to reverse 2022’s negative trend.

However, in the report the board pointed out that used car prices can fall ‘significantly’, adding: ‘As a significant proportion of our business comprises used vehicle sales, these declines can have a material impact on our business.

‘The impact of declines in used vehicle prices can result in reduced profits on sales and also write-downs in the value of used vehicle stock.’

Highlights of the year included buying Dunstable-based Grovebury Cars, which it said had performed ahead of expectations from the get-go, as well as acquiring Coupers Hyundai in St Albans, which will move to new state-of-the-art premises elsewhere in the cathedral city next year.

Brayleys has dealerships across Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, north London, Romford, Essex and Oxfordshire, with the franchises for Honda, Mazda, Kia, Renault, Dacia and Hyundai, and the directors said they were looking into more possible acquisitions this year.

The section relating to directors’ remuneration had two entries for the same amount – £261,230 – which went to the highest-paid member of the board. That was up by more than a quarter on 2022’s £206,559.

The average monthly number of employees went up from 279 to 313.

No ordinary dividends were paid during the year and the directors didn’t recommend paying a final dividend.

On May 31 this year, Crown Motors Group sold Brayleys its Honda dealership in Bushey Heath as well as its combined Honda and Suzuki site in Hendon, with all the staff moving across to Brayleys.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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