Caffyns Motor Group saw its pre-tax profit soar by nearly 1,300 per cent to £1.4m last year, helped by £1.3m in furlough cash.
The listed dealer group’s preliminary results for the year ended March 31, 2021 – announced today (Jun 2) via the London Stock Exchange – show its pre-tax profit went up from £103,000 to £1.424m.
Its underlying pre-tax profit, meanwhile, rocketed by nearly 650 per cent from £251,000 to £1.876m. Underlying EBITDA went up by 49.5 per cent from £3.428m to £5.124m.
Caffyns said 80 per cent of the workforce was furloughed in April 2020, although that figure began to go down from May, and said it received £1.3m in grants under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The new and used car group, which has 12 sites in Sussex and Kent and represents Audi, Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Vauxhall and Volvo, also brought in measures to cut salary costs, instigating an annual ceiling of £37,500 for all active employees, including the executive directors and chairman.
Meanwhile, the non-executive directors agreed to ‘a significant reduction’, with the salary reductions educed in stages.
It said all non-furloughed employees, including the board, were returned to their full contractual salaries from July 1, adding: ‘After assessing the performance of the business over the 10 months of the year post the initial lockdown, the board decided to repay these savings to employees (excluding the board) in recognition of their excellent efforts over that period.’
Revenue was down by 16 per cent to £165.085m, mainly because of ‘significantly lower levels of new and used car deliveries’ – Like-for-like new car unit deliveries were down by 10 per cent and like-for-like used car unit sales fell by 19.4 per cent.
Like-for-like aftersales revenues went down by 11.5 per cent to £16.2m.
Chief executive Simon Caffyn said: ‘Covid-19 had a material impact on the business with turnover falling by 16 per cent.
‘However, the actions we took to improve efficiencies, coupled with investment in online selling and support from government, allowed us to weather the periods of showroom lockdown and maximise sales when possible.
‘I am delighted that everyone within the company adapted quickly and rose to the challenges we faced, enabling us to deliver a profit before tax of £1.9m – a significant improvement on the £0.25m recorded last year.’