Motor industry analysts have upgraded their forecasts for Marshall after its unscheduled announcement this morning (Dec 9).
The dealer group told the London Stock Exchange it now expected its profit for the year to be ‘not less than £19m’.
That’s a 27 per cent rise from the £15m it predicted in October, which itself had been an upward revision from the half-year results, when it said it expected to break even.
Marshall has also vowed not to use the furlough scheme next year, with chief executive Daksh Gupta, pictured, telling Car Dealer: ‘We are very grateful for the support the government has given Marshall, but we have managed to perform exceptionally well and we felt that it is the right thing to do.’
In a briefing released following today’s announcement, Zeus Capital said Marshall had ‘a quality platform and will emerge as a sector winner in our view’.
The fact that Marshall had vowed not to furlough anyone in 2021, even if there was another lockdown, showed the group’s balance sheet confidence ‘despite significant and well-documented industry uncertainties going into next year, with the position of Brexit still unknown at present’.
The investment banking operation has now adjusted its pre-tax profit forecast for Marshall on the same lines – from £15m to £19m – adding: ‘We reiterate our view that [Marshall] is a creditable and reliable platform.’
It also reaffirmed its belief that the pandemic will speed up industry consolidation ‘with fewer large-scale players well placed to benefit’.
Meanwhile, international banking and wealth management group Investec has also upped its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast for Marshall to £19m.
But it estimates that Marshall’s pre-tax profit next year will dip to £18m before rising again in 2022 to £19.8m.
Investec said: ‘Trading was negatively impacted in November by the closure of its showrooms. However, performance benefited from the lessons learnt in the first lockdown.
‘The group was able to operate all of its aftersales business, take orders online and by phone as well as deliver new and used cars through a click-and-collect service.’
But although it said Marshall had continued to trade well since showrooms in England reopened on December 2, ‘a no-deal Brexit would be unhelpful and could result in sales volatility in [the first half of 2021]’.