The average UK motor retailer made a record profit of £110,000 per site in September, according to new figures out today (Nov 6).
Profitability specialist ASE Global said dealers had been able to build on the strong profitability generated since the first lockdown lifted.
However, it warned that the four-week lockdown in England that began yesterday would undoubtedly increase losses in the final quarter.
ASE Global chairman Mike Jones, who appeared on Car Dealer Live yesterday to discuss the October new car figures as they were released, said September’s record figure came from strong results across the dealership, particularly in vehicle sales.
‘Used car performance has been the real shining star since the lockdown was lifted and this continued during the month of September,’ commented Jones.
‘Return on investment continued to climb and the overall return for the month of September, taken in isolation, was 105 per cent.’
He added: ‘This strong profitability performance pushed the rolling 12-month return on sales up to 0.74 per cent.
‘This is now back within touching distance of the ratio for the prior year.
‘Actual profitability levels per site are lower than last year as a result of the lower overall turnover levels, but this remains a very creditable performance in a highly turbulent year.’
But as the new lockdown in England enters its second day, he cautioned: ‘The announcement of a return to lockdown will undoubtedly increase losses in Q4.
‘Whilst retailers are much better equipped to continue trading during lockdown as a result of digital advances made during 2020, the great momentum which retailers had built since June will be checked by Lockdown 2, leading to increased losses in November.’
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