Dealer group Perrys saw its pre-tax profit increase dramatically last year to £1.62m from £0.109m in 2018.
Revenue increased slightly to £607.9m from 2018’s £606.5m, although operating profit before exceptional items dipped by £0.556m to £3.144m.
In its accounts for the year ended December 31, 2019, the franchised dealer also said that it expected to lose £5m in the first five months of trading this year after having to close its showrooms because of the coronavirus pandemic, following the government’s directive regarding all non-essential retail.
New vehicle sales at Perrys dropped to 17,362 in 2019 from 17,725 in 2018, although a £5-per-unit increase in margins meant the direct profit earned was up £0.676m on a like-for-like basis – even without the dealership group taking part in key manufacturer campaigns.
Used car sales, meanwhile, rose to 19,891 from 19,722, helped by a new website, and with improved margins there as well it enjoyed an extra direct profit of £0.559m like for like.
Aftersales was roughly in line with 2018, although parts direct profits fell by £1.156m, but it said a new approach had started to show better profitability plus lower stock and working capital by the year end, meaning encouraging results going into 2020.
Under exceptional items, it said that selling investment properties that had been used as Land Rover businesses in Huddersfield and Halifax cut its borrowings by £2.6m and resulted in a profit of £0.325m.
It was the first full year of trading for Perrys minus its Portsmouth dealership, and it gave up its Nissan franchise in Blackburn as well but took on Seat there. In addition, it opened Mazda franchises in Canterbury and Colne, and built a brand-new dealership for Ford cars and Transit in Dover, pictured.
Perrys also altered its status as Vauxhall representative in Leyland and Colne to authorised repairer.
Looking ahead, the company said that it was too early to tell what the full-year impact would be, but it had a strong balance sheet and funders were giving it their full support.
- An earlier story on Car Dealer incorrectly said the group profit had dropped by £17m in 2019 when, in fact, it had been a revenue drop of that figure by Perrys Motor Sales. We apologise for the error.
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