Stoneacre Motor Group saw its pre-tax profit rocket by nearly 170 per cent to £26.4m last year – but it also claimed more than £15m in furlough cash.
Its accounts for the year ended April 25, 2021, which have just been published on the Companies House website, show that the profit figure went up from £9.786m the year before to £26.412m.
Turnover rose by 1.5 per cent from £959.436m to £972.935m.
Meanwhile, the group’s EBITDA profit nearly doubled, going up by 99 per cent from £16.623m to £33.041m, with return on sales rising from one per cent to three per cent.
Stoneacre’s financial year coincided with all three national lockdowns, but it said that switching to click-and-collect helped minimise the impact, with the furlough scheme ensuring employment continuity for most staff .
In all, it claimed £15.427m under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The total number of employees went up on average from 2,810 to 2,980.
Parts revenue fell by five per cent, which it attributed to fewer vehicle accidents because of the lockdowns.
Meanwhile, its accident repair centres saw revenue drop by 17 per cent for the same reason.
But aftersales did well, with the group’s service departments kept open to keep essential and key workers moving. Its turnover went up by eight per cent from £83.573m to £90.579m.
The Newark-based auction business enjoyed what Stoneacre called ‘record levels’ of business between the lockdowns, ending the period 25 per cent up on profitability.
During its financial year, Stoneacre also bought a warehouse and land next to Van World in Chesterfield, which it will be redeveloping into a commercial vehicle operation and workshop.
In addition, it bought land in Sunderland to build a Volvo site, and a Renault showroom was completed in Blackburn.
Stoneacre highlighted the ongoing semiconductor shortage since the year-end but said it had a strong track record in used car sales and had kept up excellent profitability at the same time as taking orders for new cars.
As such, the company’s management accounts show a pre-tax profit of £26.8m for the six months to October 2021.
Stoneacre is a trading name of Decidebloom, which was placed 24th in our latest Top 100 of the UK’s most profitable dealerships.
It has 64 sites in England and Wales, with 135 franchise sale points representing 25 manufacturers.