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Distribution success helps Inchcape off-set losses in car dealerships around the world

  • Inchcape’s distribution arm off-sets losses in its car dealerships
  • Firm wants to be ‘distributor of choice’ for car manufacturers across the world
  • New distribution deals in Indonesia and Guatemala
  • UK dealer operations showed ‘relative resilience’ during Q1
  • Update for first quarter of year shows two per cent rise in revenue

Time 6 months ago

Inchcape’s global retail sales division was down two per cent for the first quarter of the year – but a rise in its successful distribution arm off-set the drop.

Revenue increased two per cent year-on-year for the first quarter of 2021, with distribution up four per cent counteracting the two per cent fall in retail.

Distribution revenue increased across most of the company’s regions including Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas.

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The firm has also continued to expand its distribution model with deals with JLR in Indonesia and Daimler in Guatemala.

On its UK dealership operations, Inchcape said it had seen ‘relative resilience’ against ‘a backdrop of severe restrictions’.

Inchcape announced last week that it had agreed to sell part of its Russian dealerships operation with completion expected soon.

Chief executive Duncan Tait said the group will continue with its ambitions to become the ‘distributor of choice’ for car manufacturers across the globe.


He said: ‘Our first quarter results were ahead of our expectations. The performance demonstrates the underlying resilience of the group – with revenue growth underpinned by a widespread recovery in our distribution business. 

‘It also reflects our agility as we met the challenges of lockdowns and restrictions worldwide by adapting and improving our operational capabilities.

‘Looking ahead, while the pandemic situation presents continued uncertainty, absent any severe disruptions we continue to expect material growth in profits and an improved operating margin for FY21.

‘Our ambition is to become the undisputed distributor of choice for OEMs. We will achieve this by further strengthening our OEM relationships and with more emphasis on capturing the lifetime value of both customers and vehicles.’

In the brief trading update to the Stock Market this morning, the group also said its European division had ‘successfully navigated’ Covid disruption with the region ‘delivering positive growth’ in the quarter.

Australasia benefited from new model launches, Asia saw revenue growth in Hong Kong and in the Americas and Africa the business performed well despite difficult trading conditions.

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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