Motorpoint Group has said car sales via its online channels in the last 12 months have exceeded expectations.
In a trading update to the London Stock Exchange this morning (Apr 8), the independent retailer said it had ‘prioritised investment’ into its online channels and delivered a ‘robust’ sales performance, although revenues for the year were down 29 per cent.
The 10th most profitable dealer group in the UK – according to the Car Dealer Top 100 list (which uses EBITDA as a benchmark) – sold 68,000 vehicles in the last financial year, including 25,000 wholesale units through its Auction4Cars.com business.
Of its retail sales 52 per cent were sold online, equating to over 22,000 vehicles.
Motorpoint Group said it had prioritised investment in e-commerce by launching contactless collections, a free home delivery service, a 14-day money back guarantee and a fully digital part exchange and finance offering.
The business said that during the first three months of 2021 it had sold 3,300 vehicles online as all retail branches were shut due to lockdown, and e-commerce will continue to be a priority moving forwards.
Motorpoint is well positioned to take advantage of the continued shift of consumers to purchase online, whilst also continuing to access the currently larger in-branch market
In the update, Motorpoint Group said Auction4Cars.com’s gross margin for the first three months of 2021 was circa 7.5 per cent, ‘substantially ahead’ of the same period last year (6.2 per cent).
Group revenues for the year were 29 per cent lower compared to the previous year, as a result of the pandemic and lockdowns, it said.
Operating profit for the group ‘broadly broke even in the second half’ and its balance sheet ‘remains robust with no structural debt, and net cash at the year-end was circa £6m’
Looking ahead, Motorpoint said it expects to see pent-up demand when all sites in England, Wales and Scotland reopen, but Covid-19 will still impact its business in the new financial year. Consequently, it believes it isn’t prudent to issue future guidance at this time.
Mark Carpenter, Motorpoint CEO, said: ‘Motorpoint continues to take market share by offering great value to our customers, combined with a huge choice of high quality vehicles and a strong customer service focus.
‘Our employees have been exemplary in their commitment to the business during the year, with team engagement scores reaching their highest level in the second half of the year. The continued safety of our employees and customers remains of utmost importance as we prepare to re-open branches this month.
‘I am delighted at the progress we have made by retaining and growing our technology and marketing teams during the lockdowns. Our focus on growing our e-commerce and home delivery channels continued in H2 with further milestones achieved.
‘Thanks to our focus on innovation, along with our low-cost, agile operating model and market leading brand strength, Motorpoint is well positioned to take advantage of the continued shift of consumers to purchase online, whilst also continuing to access the currently larger in-branch market.’
Motorpoint said it expects to announce its preliminary results on June 16, 2021.
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