Motorpoint suffered a pre-tax profit fall of 15.3 per cent to £18.8m in the year to March 31.
In its final results for the year, released today (Jul 14) via the London Stock Exchange, the independent, non-franchised car supermarket blamed temporary site closures during the lockdown, which started in March – usually its busiest trading month.
Revenue, meanwhile, was down by 3.8 per cent to just over a billion pounds – £1,018m.
The full-year results followed a disappointing half-year, when its pre-tax profit dropped by nearly a fifth, despite a rise in revenue. It reported in November that it made £9.4m in the six months to September 30 – down from £11.5m for the corresponding period in 2018. Revenue for those six months, meanwhile, rose by one per cent from £528.6m to £533.9m.
Commenting on the full-year results, chief executive Mark Carpenter, pictured, said: ‘As a group, we responded quickly to what was a fast-changing situation in the final and typically busiest month of our reporting year, and at all times our number one priority has been the safety and wellbeing of our team and customers. I am proud of the way that all of my colleagues responded, having been confronted with an unprecedented set of circumstances.
‘Inevitably, the need to temporarily close our sites across the UK resulted in our full-year trading performance being impacted, despite trading positively in the months prior to lockdown.
‘However, we made great strategic and operational progress during the year, from the successful opening of our 13th location in Swansea – the first site which does not prepare its own vehicles – to the launch of our dedicated preparation centre in Peterborough, which has helped to improve the speed and effectiveness with which we prepare vehicles, in turn enhancing margins through sharper operational discipline.
‘We have continued to invest in the business across our operations, e-commerce and marketing capabilities to provide greater agility to our strategic execution, and to build a sustainable, market-leading platform for the long term.
‘Nevertheless, the group’s strong cash generation has still allowed us to return over £20m to shareholders during the period. We continued to grow our market share during the year and are very pleased with the strong level of customer take-up of our recently launched fully contactless home delivery and reserve-and-collect services, particularly post the year end.’
In its results for the year, Motorpoint said nearly 2,000 home delivery orders had been completed in just over two months
Carpenter added: ‘With the large footprint of our sites, we were able to rapidly put in place enhanced hygiene and socially distanced protocols and have been encouraged by the response from our customers since our sites reopened in June.
‘Although significant uncertainty remains as a result of Covid-19, we are pleased that in the short time since our sites reopened, trading volumes have been ahead of the equivalent period last year and margins at least in line with seasonal norms.
‘Notwithstanding the potential challenges ahead as a result of the pandemic, our low-cost, independent, flexible operating model combined with our unique culture and relentless focus on choice, value, and service leaves us well positioned to grow and to capitalise on the opportunities ahead.’
Motorpoint said two more sites – its 14th and 15th – had been secured, and possible opening dates were being reviewed.
A half-year trading update for the current financial year will be issued on October 8, with the interim results announced on November 26.
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