Arbury Nissan and Peugeot, Bromsgrove, Aug 2018Arbury Nissan and Peugeot, Bromsgrove, Aug 2018


Car dealer group Arbury’s parent firm sees profits fall 40 per cent after enjoying record highs

  • Cathedral Motor Company saw profit before tax drop to £3m in 2022
  • Revenue increased to £183.3m but return on sales nearly halved
  • Firm represents VW Group franchises as well as Peugeot and Citroen in the Midlands

Time 8:09 am, October 17, 2023

Cathedral Motor Company – the official name of the Midlands-based Arbury Group of car dealerships – saw profits fall 40 per cent in 2022.

The business, which operates 16 franchises from nine locations, clocked up profits before tax of £3m, down from a high of £5m in 2021.

This represented a return on sales of 1.6% compared to the ‘extremes of 2022’ which saw the firm generate a 3% return.

‘Given the challenges and supply restraints the business faced, this remains strong and provides a solid base on which to move into 2023,’ wrote director Steve Drew in the firm’s annual accounts.

The fall in profit came despite an increase in revenue as the firm raked in £183.8m during the year compared with £166.2m the year before.

Vehicle sales accounted for £175.6m of the total, other undefined services added £5m while finance income accounted for £3.1m.

The group said it sold 4,055 new cars and 4,754 used cars during the year, both falls on 2021.

The company operates franchises for Peugeot, Citroen, Nissan, Fiat, Abarth, Skoda, Seat and Cupra. It also has a centralised fleet department which sells models from all brands via a brokerage.

During the year the firm said it expanded with the VW Group when it was invited to add Cupra to its portfolio. It added this to its Stourbridge facility where it operates alongside Seat and Peugeot.

The group said it is ‘actively exploring’ new franchise opportunities as it looks to grow the business.

Drew added: ‘Whilst the invasion of Ukraine and the disruption this brings to the supply chain of a number of our partners provides a challenge, with the company operating a spread portfolio of franchises the impact of this disruption is hoped will be minimised.

‘With the supply of new vehicles gradually recovering this will undoubtedly have an impact on used vehicle values and resulting margins however our future new vehicle order bank remains high and as a result should mitigate this risk.

‘2023 has seen several increases in interest rate and in the rate of inflation, the company is mindful of this and the impact it is undoubtedly having on consumers spending activity.

‘Thus far the impact has been minimal however we continue to monitor the situation.’

The company paid out dividends to shareholders totalling £756,000 in the year. In the year before they received £1.7m.

As of the end of 2022, the firm employed 293 people with the highest paid director receiving remuneration of £280,000, as well as £32,688 worth of pension contributions.

Last year, Cathedral Motor Group was the 77th most profitable dealer in the Car Dealer Top 100. The latest list will be published soon.

Image: Google

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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