The Smyth family celebrate 18 years in businessThe Smyth family celebrate 18 years in business


Car dealer group Swansway repays furlough cash as it chalks up record £25.2m profit for 2021

  • Family firm had record year thanks to used car division
  • Business changes its name to Swansway Motor Group from Swansway Garages
  • Directors decide to hand back £314k claimed in furlough in 2021

Time 8:16 am, April 6, 2022

Franchised car dealer group Swansway has repaid £314,000 of furlough cash it claimed last year as it posts record pre-tax profits of £25.2m.

The firm – which represents eight manufacturers including VW Group brands, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover and runs Motor Match used car centres – saw turnover increase 117 per cent on 2020.

The group brought in revenues of £838m in 2021 following the Covid-hit 2020 when it turned over £712m.

Profit rose 147 per cent on the previous year with the group earning £26.2m – after a goodwill amortisation of £1m, the pre-tax profit was £25.2m.

The group has also rebranded from Swansway Garages, changing its trading name to Swansway Motor Group, unveiling a new logo and corporate identity.

Peter Smyth, director of the group, said: ‘2021 was another challenging year. Starting the year in a national lockdown provided its difficulties, but we were able to transact in a Covid safe manner and it was encouraging to see that during this period the group experienced high levels of demand.’

The group’s Motor Match used car brand performed ‘exceptionally well’ and the group opened a new site in Crewe.

Swansway Motor Group new logo

The new Swansway Motor Group logo

Swansway now operates six Motor Match sites and invested in showroom capacity and vehicle preparation improvements at four of the five already set up.

The firm’s EBITDA figure – used to calculate the Car Dealer Top 100 list of most profitable dealers – rose from £17.1m in 2020, to £31.7m in 2021.

Swansway was the 18th most profitable dealer group in the UK in last year’s list.

‘We faced issues regarding stock supply due to shortages in semi conductor chips in 2021 and due to the current world situation, we expect similar challenges to continue into 2022,’ added fellow director John Smyth.

‘Despite this, we have had a positive start to 2022 and Q1 profits for the year are well ahead of our expectations.’

The group closed its Citroen showroom during the year, taking its total number of sites to 19.

Its biggest partner is still Audi, represented at six locations, in the North West.

In its annual report, filed with Companies House, Swansway acknowledges the threat used car disruptors like Cazoo present on the wider motor trade.

It says it is ‘acutely aware’ or their prevalence in the sector.

‘This partly explains the emphasis the organisation places on a robust and ever increasing focus on the digital arena,’ said the report.

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Boss Peter Smyth appeared in our special video documentary into Cazoo which was published last week and gave his opinion on the brand.

Meanwhile, the group’s rebranding is being rolled out across the business as it approaches its 19th year.

The firm says the new logo and colour palette has been designed with Swansway’s ‘core values and ethos at heart’ with the swan chosen as it ‘symbolises loyalty and trust’, characteristics which the family firm believes represents the business.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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