HR Owen chief Andy Duncan has described the firm’s strong end of year results as a ‘step in the right direction.’
Last week the luxury retailer posted results that showed its revenue was up 26 per cent to £158m in 2010, with a net exceptional gain of £0.3m.
Talking exclusively to Car Dealer, Duncan said: ‘The major of factor in us posting good results, if I’m honest, was an element of market recovery. Particularly for top-end customers where we do most of our business, they felt happy spending their money again. The other factor was that we grew our share in that market, out-peforming the market in both new and used cars.’
Duncan issued caution though. ‘Let’s not get carried away. It was a good set of results and a good improvement on a difficult 2008 and an especially challenging 2009; it is a step in the right direction and gives us foundations to build upon.’
New developments such as HR Owen’s partnership with Ferrari to create a bespoke ‘Atelier’ at The Berkeley Hotel, and the closure of its Alfa Romeo dealership in Parsons Green, London, are all signs that HR Owen is growing and becoming stronger, Duncan said.
‘I, however, do remain relatively cautious about the rest of the year as the economy is still struggling a bit, but that will settle down. Looking at 2012 and beyond I am pretty confident, actually.’
Duncan also expressed his sadness at having to loose the Alfa Romeo franchise.
‘I am sad at losing the franchise,’ he said, ‘as it is a brand I am personally fond as many people are. But the economics of running a stand-alone Alfa dealership in London was too challenging.
‘It can work as a business if you have got other areas that have cheaper rents, or in some cases you have Alfa as one of many brands in one dealership. I took the view it was unsustainable and it was a mutual agreement with Alfa Romeo to part as they saw the problem too.’