MARSHALL Motor Holdings has this morning announced its results for 2019 – showing record reported revenue of £2.3 billion and £33.1m operating profit.
After 12 months of significant growth during which Marshall incorporated 20 new businesses, underlying profit before tax was £22.1m, down 10.8 per cent. But the like-for-like figure of £33.1m was down just 4.1 per cent in a difficult year for the automotive sector.
Like-for-like total new vehicle unit sales were up 0.3 per cent (against an overall market decline of 2.4 per cent), with both retail and fleet outperforming the market strongly.
Used car unit sales were up 6.1 per cent (market volumes as a whole declined 0.1 per cent during 2019), while the company reported further growth in aftersales revenue, up 3.2 per cent.
The company attributed its strong financial performance partly to disciplined cost management. Operating expenses increased by only 1.5 per cent despite cost headwinds. Strong operational cash generation supported £46.8m of acquisitions and capital investment.
For investors, a recommended final dividend of 5.69p will give a full-year dividend of 8.54p per share (2018: 8.54p).
Daksh Gupta, pictured, Marshall’s chief executive officer, said: ‘The group continued to perform well in 2019 and despite a sustained period of market decline, has grown market share by outperforming in all of its key segments.
‘The group delivered record total reported revenue and achieved like-for-like revenue growth. Despite market conditions, the business performed well, with like-for-like operating profit down 4.1 per cent to £33.1m against last year’s record result.
‘The group has taken advantage of continued market consolidation, completing a number of strategic acquisitions in 2019, adding 20 new businesses.
‘We are particularly proud to have become Volkswagen Group’s largest partner in the UK. The board notes the latest forecast by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders for a further decline in the UK new car market in 2020 of 2.6 per cent.
‘It is also cognisant of the potential impact that uncertainty over the outcome of future trade agreement negotiations between the UK and the European Union may have on the automotive sector.
‘Although we have not seen an impact to date, the board is monitoring the potential impact of COVID-19 and is considering contingency plans in the event it starts to impact our dealerships. The board therefore remains cautious but our order book for the important March plate-change period is encouraging and our outlook for the full year is unchanged.’