Automotive firm Marubeni Auto Investment UK saw its pre-tax profit fall by 22 per cent to £5.8m last year.
The investment company, which operates dealership businesses RRG Group and Norton Way Motors, has just published its strategic report and financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2020, which also show that turnover increased by five per cent to £626.8m.
RRG operates one of Europe’s biggest Toyota car dealer groups. It has new and used car dealerships across the north-west of England and West Yorkshire, with franchises for Kia, Lexus, Nissan, Mazda, Peugeot and Skoda as well.
Norton Way Motors, meanwhile, has dealerships in Hertfordshire and London, selling Kia, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Peugeot, with aftersales for Citroen and Skoda.
Marenubi’s employee numbers rose by 15 to 1,271, but investment in facilities went down 52 per cent to £1.6m. As of March 31, 2020, it had 28 dealerships, with 11 of those being for Toyota.
The figures took it to just as the first lockdown started, meaning it lost a full week’s trading in what is the industry’s busiest month.
Trading in the run-up to the announcement of the lockdown was also affected by uncertainty about the pandemic, it said.
Its dealerships stayed shut until May 11, when aftersales reopened partially, with sales operations opening again on June 1.
The report reveals that Marubeni Auto Investment UK, whose registered office is in Salford, received £6.5m in furlough cash and £2.3m in business rates relief to March 31, 2021.
And despite the effects of the pandemic, it still hopes to make £6.3m pre-tax profit during the current financial year.
Although that’s lower than the £7.4m budgeted for, it won’t have a significant impact on its financial position it said in the report, signed by company secretary and director Arran Bangham.
Even if regional lockdowns are brought in, it doesn’t fear a long-term impact on profitability or its ability to stay as a going concern either.
The post-Brexit deal isn’t predicted to have much effect on its future trading, it said, although it warned about the profitability impact of the new Cafe (corporate average fuel economy) standards.
Manufacturers will look to reduce penalties by increasing sales of vehicles that cut their average emissions and over-supply can lead to a cut in margins, it said.
However, Marubeni pointed out that it had tried to lessen the risk of changes in supply thanks to having various manufacturers on board.
Image via Google Street View shows RRG Toyota Salford Quays, where Marubeni Auto Investment UK has its registered office