Harwoods Chichester, June 2019Harwoods Chichester, June 2019

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Dealership group Harwoods’ pre-tax profit soared by 265 per cent to top £9m in 2021 as nearly £804,000 claimed in furlough

  • Privately owned high-end dealership’s accounts for 2021 show massive increase in profits
  • Turnover at Harwoods topped half a billion pounds
  • All staff received a pay rise that was above the retail price index

Time 8:48 am, March 29, 2022

High-end dealership group Harwoods saw its pre-tax profit rocket last year by 265 per cent to more than £9m.

The privately owned automotive retail group’s accounts for the year to December 31, 2021, which were released on the Companies House website yesterday (Mar 28), show it made £9.375m before tax versus the pandemic-hit 2020’s £2.57m.

Turnover rose by 17.6 per cent to more than half a billion pounds – going up from £494.35m in 2020 to £581.186m – while operating profit increased by 144.5 per cent from £4.669m to £11.414m.


Profit after tax totalled £6,210,699 – up 250 per cent from 2020’s £1,772,577m

Return on sales, meanwhile, rose from 0.9 per cent to two per cent.

It attributed the healthy results to an ‘exceptionally strong used car market’ as well as an increase in demand as people sought to change their cars after lockdown.

The accounts also show that it claimed £803,792 under the furlough scheme last year – down 78.3 per cent on the £3,705,975 it received in Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants in 2020.


Company secretary Guy Rowson highlighted in the accompanying report how the pandemic had continued to affect all businesses in 2021 but said the directors had made sure the group could stay profitable.

Harwoods had retained all staff, he said, and promoted flexible and remote working where possible during the national lockdowns and site closures.

The board also acknowledged that ‘traditional’ showrooms had to be supported by better digital/online sales, so was ‘investing significantly in these new channels’.

There was good news for staff during the year, with the board approving an inflationary pay increase above the retail price index, although the exact figure wasn’t given.

Other highlights included being appointed a Volvo franchisee in Crawley and ‘a significant upgrade’ at its Portsmouth Audi site.

The highest-paid director, who wasn’t named, received £564,230 versus £389,127 in 2020. In all, the directors received a total of £1.36m in 2021, compared with £1.05m the year before.

Harwoods gave a total of £8,100 to charity versus £2,070 in 2020. Group-wide, the monthly average number of employees fell from 983 to 968.

The company was established in 1931 and has dealerships across Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent, representing Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover, McLaren and Volvo.

Pictured at top via Google Street View is Harwoods Chichester

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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