From left, Peter Smyth, David Smyth, Michael Smyth, John SmythFrom left, Peter Smyth, David Smyth, Michael Smyth, John Smyth


Family-run Swansway group sees pre-tax profit plummet despite turnover nearing £1bn

  • Swansway suffers decline in profits
  • Pre-tax profit for 2023 was down by 39.9%
  • Gross profit and Ebitda were also down
  • But group turnover rose by 14.8%

Time 2:54 pm, April 29, 2024

Swansway Motor Group saw its profit before tax slump by nearly 40% last year on a turnover that went up by almost 15% to nearly £1bn.

Its newly released results for the year ended December 31, 2023 show that the family-run Car Dealer Top 100 firm made a pre-tax profit of £13.415m versus £22.346m the previous year – a drop of 39.9%.

That was on a group turnover of £941.069m – a 14.8% increase on 2022’s figure of £819.438m.

Meanwhile, its Ebitda stood at £24m – down by £5m (17.2%) on 2022’s £29m, while its gross profit of £58.46m was 1.3% down on 2022’s £59.216m.

However, its total equity increased to £68.5m from 2022’s £66.4m – up by 3.2%.

The directors’ remuneration went up by 4.5% from £3.893m to £4.067m, with the highest-paid director receiving £969,000 – a £1,000 rise.

A dividend of £7.69m was paid during the year.

In the accompanying group strategic report, signed on behalf of the board by company secretary Richard Marsland, the directors said: ‘Profitability during 2023 was good, even after consideration was given to the “headwinds”experienced, particularly during the second half of the year.

‘Trading during the first half saw the business perform well due to continued strong customer demand for new vehicle[s].

‘Used vehicle margin retention was good owing to a shortage in supply coupled with low depreciation of vehicle values.

‘[The] Second half saw the business move to a more normalised level of performance as interest rate increases quickly impacted demand and a market correction on used vehicle valuations adversely effected trading profitability.’

It shifted 35,685 new, used and fleet vehicles – up 24% on 2022’s total of 28,846 units.

Group director Peter Smyth said in a press release: ‘Whilst profits declined when compared to 2022, we are starting to see the industry ‘‘normalise’’.

‘We are on a strong financial footing with £68m-worth of net assets, and we are poised at short notice to make the most of any opportunities that present themselves whilst the industry consolidates.’

Swansway – which was formed in 2003 by Michael Smyth and is run by him and sons Peter, David and John – represents six manufacturers across 19 sites as well as boasting five used car locations.

It also operates four VAG trade parts specialist distributors and an accident repair centre.

Pictured at top from left are Peter Smyth, David Smyth, Michael Smyth and John Smyth

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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