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Group 1 Automotive says its UK car dealerships made £82m profit in just three months

  • First quarter results are a record for American-based group
  • Revenue for the firm was up 30 per cent at £3bn
  • Gross profit for the quarter was £577m –with £82m coming from UK dealerships

Time 10:41 am, April 28, 2022

American dealer Group 1 Automotive has said its UK operations recorded their ‘best ever’ profit performance in the first quarter of 2022.

In an earnings update, the dealer group – which runs more than 70 sites in the UK –  said it had notched up record profit performance thanks to ‘strong consumer demand’.

Total revenue for the American-based firm was £3bn ($3.8bn) for the quarter – up 30 per cent on the same period last year.

Total gross profit for the group was £577m ($724m).

In the UK, the group’s dealerships contributed gross profit of £82m ($103m).

On average the group made just over £3,000 profit for every new car it sold in the UK and around £1,500 profit for every used car.

Those margins were up an impressive 70.8 per cent and 69.2 per cent respectively.

The group sold 7,235 new cars in the UK (up from 6,540 in the same period last year) and 9,866 used cars (up from 7,112).

Car dealers were shut for the same period last year under the UK government’s third lockdown and operating remotely only.

Earl J. Hesterberg, Group 1’s president and chief executive officer, said: ‘Our record profit performance this quarter was the result of continued strong consumer demand and outstanding operational performance across all business segments in the US and UK. 

‘Our 2021 acquisitions, especially the Prime Auto Group, performed far above our expectations in the first quarter and our UK operations achieved an all-time profit record. 

‘Service growth and cost leverage were noteworthy in both the US and UK.

‘We expect our strong vehicle sales margins to continue this year in both markets as new vehicle supply is expected to remain constrained for the remainder of this year.’

Group 1 runs the BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Toyota and Ford new car sites as well as a handful of used car centres in the UK.

The dealerships are predominantly based in London, the home counties and on the south coast and operate under the Barons, Beadles and Think Ford names.

Last year, the firm made £1.7bn profit on revenues of £9.9bn.

Group 1 is the 9th most profitable dealer in the UK, according to the Car Dealer Top 100.

Earlier, Sytner Group owner Penske Automotive also announced record profits for the same quarter.

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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