Stoneacre Motor Group saw its pre-tax profit plummet by 42 per cent to £9.8m over the past financial year.
Its accounts for the year ending April 26, 2020, just filed with Companies House, show the money it made was down from just over £17m the year before.
Turnover, meanwhile, dipped from £982.1m to £959.4m – a drop of 2.3 per cent – comprising £874.2m in vehicle sales and £85.2m in aftersales.
The Doncaster-based new and used car company came eighth in the Car Dealer Top 100 list of the UK’s most profitable dealers, which ranked franchised and non-franchised dealerships together.
It represents 25 brands across 57 sites in England and Wales, with 122 franchise sales points, according to the report, whose directors said that not only had Brexit affected consumer confidence but there had also been vehicle supply disruption because of a weaker pound and the WLTP testing regulations.
Earlier this year, its top executives temporarily waived their salary out of sympathy for the employees they’d had to furlough, as reported by Car Dealer.
The spring lockdown meant the final few weeks of Stoneacre’s trading for the 2019-20 financial year suffered but Stoneacre maintained it was in a good position to take advantage of any consolidation of the franchised dealer network.
During the year, it added the MG franchise to its Nottingham and Middlesbrough sites, as well as Renault to its refurbished ‘Mushroom Garage’ dealership in Rotherham.
Other highlights of the period included signing a contract for land in Sunderland, where a new Volvo site will be built starting in the first quarter of 2021.
Its Newark-based auction centre, meanwhile, managed not only to maintain profitability despite the loss of five weeks of trading because of the lockdown, but increase it by 33 per cent during the four months to September this year.
The directors warned of potential tariffs if the UK isn’t able to settle on a successful trade deal with the EU, but added: ‘Despite the continuing uncertainty and challenging economic environment in the period since lockdown, the group is performing at record levels.’
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