John Grose Ford and Kia, Lowestoft, Aug 2021_John Grose Ford and Kia, Lowestoft, Aug 2021_


Family-owned car dealership John Grose Group suffers pre-tax profit fall despite turnover rise

  • John Grose Group publishes its accounts for 2023
  • Turnover was up by 6% but pre-tax profit fell by 24%
  • Staff and management praised for ‘tremendous performance’

Time 7:18 am, June 5, 2024

John Grose Group saw its pre-tax profit drop by almost a quarter last year despite its turnover rising.

The family-owned Suffolk-based car dealership chain’s newly published accounts for the year ended December 31, 2023 reveal that its profit before tax fell by 24% to £6.366m from £8.334m the year before.

That was on turnover that went up by 6% from £187.84m to £199.815m, while return on sales was 3.1%.

The accompanying strategic report, signed on behalf of the board by chairman and MD Ian Twinley, highlighted ‘the continued inflationary pressures on new vehicle pricing and the persistent supply chain issues’ but said the automotive retail sector had nevertheless benefited from steady growth and consumer demand.

It also pointed out the ‘elements of used vehicle price corrections towards the end of the year’, which had been expected once the supply of vehicles had become more in line with demand.

John Grose, which holds the franchises for Ford, Citroen, Peugeot and Kia and has showrooms in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Woodbridge, closed its Diss branch in May 2023 as part of Ford’s network restructure.

However, there were no compulsory redundancies, with all staff offered positions at Ipswich or Lowestoft.

Its DS showroom was also shut, in agreement with Stellantis, which John Grose said would let it ‘drive growth in the other Stellantis brands’. It didn’t say what happened to those jobs, though.

Among its key performance indicators, it highlighted its customer satisfaction results, which it said ‘were once again outstanding across all departments’.

The board of the Car Dealer Top 100 firm added: ‘It is a real pleasure for all of us to receive continuous positive feedback on the experience that customers have in our business.’

Twinley was made an MBE in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours for his services to defence and the east of England, and he commented in the report: ‘My endeavours would not have been possible without the support of our employees, so my sincere thanks to all.’

He finished it by saying: ‘I congratulate the entire management team along with all the staff on the tremendous performance in 2023. We thank them all for the huge contribution that they make for the ongoing success of the company.’

During the year, the board recommended a dividend of £3.00 per share for 2022. An interim dividend payment of 60p per share was made in July 2023 and a further dividend of £2.40 per share was agreed in January 2024.

Dividends of £2.153m were paid during 2023 versus £1.652m in 2022.

A dividend payment of £300,000 was made as an interim dividend for the 2023 financial year, with the dividend payment of £1.853m being a final dividend in respect for the 2022 financial year.

A prior year final dividend of £3.70 per share was paid during the year.

Meanwhile, directors’ emoluments soared by 70% fr0m £705,000 in 2022 to £1.2m in 2023, with the highest-paid director receiving £931,000.

Looking ahead, the board said in the directors’ report, also signed on their behalf by Twinley: ‘The directors expect the market to remain extremely competitive in the coming year.

‘The directors believe that they have taken appropriate measures to retain the profitability of the company for the foreseeable future.’

Pictured via Google Street View is John Grose’s Ford and Kia showrooms in Lowestoft

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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