Terence Donnelly, left, Paul Compton, centre, and Dave Sheeran mark the opening of the new Donnelly Honda showroom on the Boucher RoadTerence Donnelly, left, Paul Compton, centre, and Dave Sheeran mark the opening of the new Donnelly Honda showroom on the Boucher Road

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Car dealer Donnelly Group sees pre-tax profits rocket by 305 per cent to £5.9m

  • Northern Ireland-based dealer group posts stellar rise on 2020 performance
  • Pre-tax profits and turnover both rocket
  • Group finished relocation of its Honda business during the year

Time 6:42 am, June 26, 2022

Car dealer Donnelly Group finished 2021 with pre-tax profit rocketing by 305 per cent.

Newly published accounts show that the Northern Ireland-based dealer group made £5.9m for the year ended December 31, 2021, up significantly from the £1.45m it made the year before.

Turnover rose from £252.3m in 2020 to £264.3m in 2021, while the net profit margin jumped from 0.4 per cent to 2.23 per cent.


The dealer group, which represents 16 car brands including Volkswagen Group, Jaguar Land Rover and Stellantis marques, claimed £658,800 under the government’s furlough scheme compared to £3.85m the year before.

During the year, Donnelly Group also moved to a new purpose-built dealership, still on Boucher Road, Belfast, following a £3m investment. It also completed the acquisition of a site in Bangor representing Citroen and Motorstore.

Donnelly said with these two acquisitions excluded, its overall bank debt was reduced by approximately £1.7m.

Over the next three years, the end-of-year report said the business will continue reducing its bank debt by similar amounts so it can ‘exploit further growth opportunities’.


Looking back over the year, directors of Donnelly Group wrote: ‘The strategic plan for the group has taken into consideration all of the current market dynamics and the business will scale accordingly and has controls in place to minimise any risks from industry headlines, but also to be in a position to benefit from opportunities which will present as the sector evolves.

‘We remain cautiously optimistic in our outlook for the profitability of the business in the short and medium term horizons.’

Looking ahead, the end-of-year accounts added: ‘Despite the challenges, profitability in the first four months of 2022 is satisfactory and the group has adapted to the selling channels available to it.

‘The directors are confident that 2022 profit expectations are in line with original budgets prepared.’

Donnelly Group was 65th in the Car Dealer Top 100 list of the most profitable car dealers last year.

Picture: Terence Donnelly, left, Paul Compton, centre, and Dave Sheeran mark the opening of the new Donnelly Honda showroom on the Boucher Road

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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