Car dealer group Howard Garages sees profits tumble despite ‘successful’ year

  • Bosses at Howard Garages pleased despite dip in pre-tax profit
  • Firm made £4.02m last year, compared to £5.89 in previous 12 months
  • Turnover rose 15 per cent to £151.91m

Time 11:53 am, October 23, 2023

Bosses at Howard Garages say the dealer group enjoyed a ‘successful year’ in 2022 despite the firm’s profits taking a major hit.

Accounts recently published via Companies House show that the Car Dealer Top 100 outfit suffered a 31 per cent dip in its pre-tax profit in the 12 months ending December 31, 2022.

The reduction meant that the Somerset-based outfit bagged £4.02m before tax, compared to the £5.89m it made in the previous accounting year.

Used car sales were also down from 5,643 to 5,435 but new car sales did rise from 2,595 to 2,716 in 2022.

Turnover was also up, with it raking in an impressive £174.85m – a 15 per cent improvement on 2021’s £151.91m.

The vast majority of income was generated by the sale of goods (£168.61m) with the rendering of services bringing in a further £4.58m.

That allowed the firm to invest in new locations by opening new MG and Suzuki sites. At the end of the year, the business operated four Hyundai, four Peugeot and three MG dealerships.

It also represents Citroen, Honda and Suzuki at two sites apiece and has singular showrooms selling Kia, Nissan, Toyota and DS models.

In addition to its franchise showrooms, Howards runs two used car centres.

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Commenting on the results, director Jonathan Coleman said: ‘2022 represented the company’s first full year of trading without government regulations requiring car showrooms and forecourts to close due to Covid, since 2019.

‘Turnover was £174,855,044, an increase of 15 per cent on the previous year. The number of vehicles sold during 2022 was 2,716 new (2021: 2,595) and 5,435 used (2021: 5,643), these are considered to be some of our key performance indicators.

‘In terms of volume, our new vehicle sales number was up 4.7 per cent compared to the overall UK new car market decrease of 20 per cent in 2022.

‘Overall, our trading results continue to compare favourably with other motor trade dealerships groups of our size.’

Throughout the year, Howard Garages spent £11.91m on employee remuneration, with staff numbers rising by three to 242. Meanwhile, the firm’s highest-paid director received £478,229.

Coleman added: ‘2022 has proved to be another successful year for the company. During the year, the company added to the number of franchises, increasing both MG and Suzuki by one.

‘Our staff are key to the underlying success of the business.

‘We are fortunate to have a dedicated and committed team who have helped to deliver these results and provide the level of service that our customers expect from us. In turn, our staff turnover rates are lower than the industry average.

‘In 2022, it improved to 16.9 per cent from 22.6 per cent the previous year.

‘One of our key performance indicators is customer satisfaction. The company measures this by using a third party to collate customer reviews from various online platforms.

‘We are delighted to report that over the course of 2022, our customers rated the company 4.8 out of 5.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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