RRG owner Marubeni Auto Investments has released its annual accounts which show the firm made an improved pre-tax profit of £7.5m in the last financial year.
The firm, which bought dealer group RRG in the year 2000, turned over £490m up until the end of March 2021.
Although the figure was down nearly 22 per cent on the previous year’s total of £672, profit before tax still rose by over 30 per cent from the £5.8m made in 2020.
The accounts, which have been published via Companies House, show that the Japanese conglomerate currently owns 27 dealerships in the UK.
During the period covered by the accounts, the group sold its Lexus dealership in Bradford.
It now runs 11 Toyota dealerships as well as three apiece for Honda and Peugeot.
Marubeni also operates two Lexus, Mazda, Nissan, Kia and Skoda dealerships each.
The results show that it also claimed £7.4m in furlough cash during the last financial year as it grappled with the effects of the pandemic.
That money went towards paying a staff wage bill of £38.4m with, which was down from £41.8m a year previously.
Elsewhere, directors remunerations totalled £1.05m with the highest paid director taking home £481,000.
In terms of sales, Marubeni saw new car volumes drop by 33 per cent and used car volumes by 18 per cent – largely due to the pandemic.
Arran Bangham, secretary of the group, said: ‘The actions undertaken by the group in the early part of the pandemic enabled a strong recovery in the second half of the year and ensured the group was well placed to operate more efficiently in the subsequent lockdowns that followed.
‘The group has benefited significantly from government support via the job retention scheme and business rates relief. The job retention scheme relief claimed by the group was paid to those employees who were furloughed during the pandemic.
‘The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic was wide ranging from changes in consumer behaviour to the wider economic and social impact. The motor retail industry has seen an acceleration in digital transformation through this period of the pandemic with customers more open to transacting online and utilising click and collect and reserve online options.
‘Following the lifting of the lockdown restrictions on car showrooms in April 2021, the group are now seeing a shift in consumer behaviour back towards physical visits to dealer showrooms and face to face interaction with our sales teams. But we are still utilising digital tools to simplify the journey.’
He added: ‘The group doesn’t expect the UK will enter any sustained period of complete lockdown in the future due to COVID-19. There may be short term local measures introduced but we don’t see this having any long term impact on the profitability of the business or the ability for the business to continue as a going concern.
‘An additional impact of COVID 19 is the current shortage of components for the manufacturing of motor vehicles. The worldwide shortage of semiconductors is affecting the supply of new cars during the current financial year.
‘The full impact of the supply constraints is not fully understood but so far we have seen positive impact on margins on both new and used vehicles due to the reduced supply and increased demand but inevitably we will sell less cars which will ultimately have an impact on the availability of used cars taken in part exchange.’