Swansway Motor Group suffered a 42 per cent pre-tax profit drop to £4m last year after being hit by WLTP and the Real Driving Emissions test, it was revealed today (Sep 14).
Pre-tax profit for 2018 was £6.9m, having risen from £5.1m in 2017, while turnover fell from £748m in 2018 to £731 million in in 2019 – it was £780m in 2017. However, net assets rose by five per cent to £31.9m.
A review at the family-owned-and-run operation, which employs more than 1,000 people and has 10 franchises – including Land Rover, Jaguar, Citroen and VW Group sites among others – plus a non-franchise division at 23 retailers from Birmingham to Carlisle, saw it shed brands and restructure its management team.
But the company, which also celebrates its 17th birthday this week, said it was pleased with how its 2020 finances were progressing, despite the pandemic, with profits for the first quarter ahead of expectations.
Peter Smyth, director of Swansway Group, said: ‘2019 was a challenging year as we expected, and trading was made even more difficult by WLTP and RDE.
‘These issues were especially challenging for some of the German manufacturers, which form a large part of Swansway, so we had to take action quickly. After a thorough review, we took the decision to eradicate our loss-making businesses and restructure the management team.’
Fellow director John Smyth added: ‘The business restructure we undertook came at a cost, which is reflected in the 2019 results. Even with the Covid-19 global pandemic, we’ve had a positive start to 2020 thanks to the restructure we did last year and Q1 profits for 2020 are ahead of our expectations.’