Dealer group JCT600 saw its pre-tax profit fall in 2019 to £15.6m against 2018’s figure of £17.1m, its newly published accounts show.
Turnover at the privately owned firm, which represents 24 brands including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche and Rolls-Royce, rose by 0.2 per cent to £1.28bn.
Operating profit before amortisation, meanwhile, stood at £21.967m – down from 2018’s £23.225m. The directors said this gave a better indication of JCT600’s underlying performance.
Last month, we published our inaugural Car Dealer Top 100, listing the country’s 100 most profitable dealers ranked via their EBITDA and which saw Arnold Clark at the top with an EBITDA of £194.3m.
New vehicle sales at JCT600 rose in 2019 by 1.4 per cent against a three per cent drop in the UK market, and its fleet vehicle sales rose by one per cent versus a 1.7 per cent UK fall.
Used car sales went up by 3.4 per cent, compared with the static market across the country. Aftersales revenue increased by 3.7 per cent.
It ploughed £5.7m into premises, with its Porsche outlets in Sheffield and Newcastle benefiting from ‘significant refurbishments’, and opened a Rolls-Royce site in Leeds and one for Mitsubishi in Bradford.
The report – filed for processing at Companies House four days ago (January 18) and just released – also reflected on 2020, and director Nigel Shaw said that although Covid-19 led to losses, trading had been buoyant once showrooms were allowed to reopen.
He added: ‘Whilst it is difficult to predict economic conditions in quarter four, the directors’ current forecasts for the full-year results are very encouraging, and whilst it will be behind the original KPIs for 2020, a healthy profit contribution is expected.’
Although at the time of signing the report – December 21 – a post-Brexit deal still had to be struck, meaning fears about ‘economic instability affecting product supply, price and consumer confidence and demand’, the directors were confident the group was ‘in an excellent position to adapt to and take advantage of the changing economic landscape.’
The report added that the directors weren’t aware of anything that could jeopardise any franchise agreements, saying that ‘a long-term lack of supply from one particular manufacturer, whilst detrimental to profits, would not materially affect the group overall’.
As such, JCT600 doesn’t seem fazed by Mitsubishi’s announcement last year that it was pulling out of Europe.
Pictured at top via Google Street View is JCT600’s Ferrari dealership in Leeds