IT was a mixed picture from the Pendragon Group today as the company delivered its results for the 2016 calendar year.
Total profit before tax was 7.6 per cent down at £73m but the underlying pre-tax profit figure, coincidentally, was up 7.6 per cent at £75.4m.
Total operating profit was down 17.5 per cent at £100.4m but the underlying operating profit figure was up 0.7 per cent at £101.2m and the like-for-like operating profit figure was up two per cent at £104.3m.
In terms of gross profit, the total was up 1.9 per cent to £559.6m and the company reported an underlying operating margin of 2.2 per cent, in line with 2015, and used vehicle revenue up 9.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis.
Pendragon chief executive Trevor Finn, emphasising the 7.6 per cent rise in underlying profit before tax, said: ‘The group has doubled underlying profit before tax in four years as a result of our clear strategy of offering choice, value, customer service and convenience.
‘Future growth will be driven by our initiatives, our investment in additional physical capacity for used car sales and by our strategic advantages in IT and intellectual property.
‘We believe that we can achieve at least double-digit growth in used revenue in 2017 and our aspiration over the next five years is to double our used vehicle revenue.
‘In order to test this, during the final quarter of 2016 we invested in inventory and adjusted our algorithms and marketing initiatives with a view to driving growth in used vehicle activity levels to test the capacity of our current footprint.
‘The early results of this are very encouraging. Our growth in used vehicle revenue on a like-for-like basis in January 2017 exceeded the increase required to achieve our growth aspirations.’
On SuperUnleaded.com: Are Rally Cars Now Too Fast After Regulation Changes?