Sytner may have sealed its place as the most profitable car dealer group in the UK with stellar profits of £178.9m for 2022.
The luxury car dealer group, run by CEO Darren Edwards, looks likely to take the number one spot as the most profitable car dealer in the forthcoming Car Dealer Top 100 list, which will be published soon.
In its latest set of accounts, just published at Companies House, Sytner said it had racked up pre tax profits that were marginally better than 2021 when it made £178.1m.
The stable earnings come just two weeks after the UK’s reigning most profitable car dealer, Arnold Clark, announced results for 2022 that showed pre-tax profit had fallen dramatically to £173.5m, from £263m the year before.
Car Dealer Top 100 compilers UHY Hacker Young will now be assessing the EBITDA profit numbers to ratify who takes the top spot. If the table was ranked by pre-tax profit, Sytner would comfortably take top spot for the first time in the list’s history.
Sytner’s revenue ballooned in 2022 to £6.8bn, up from £5.7bn the year before. By comparison, Arnold Clark bought in £4.9bn in the same year.
An interim dividend of £33m was paid during the year. In 2021 the firm paid out a dividend of £82m.
Sytner said profit had increased despite cost pressures that had been ‘driven by a sharp rise in energy costs’. The firm said its energy bills had gone up £6.5m during the year while interest costs on borrowing went up nearly £10m.
Sytner said acquisitions made during the year added £200m in turnover while £800m came about as a result of increased sales volumes and selling prices.
Sytner has an enviable portfolio of brands including Bugatti, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. It operates two of the largest luxury car dealerships in the UK with its gigantic Audi West London site next to a rival Mercedes store it also owns.
Sytner is owned by the American giants Penske Automotive Group. The American firm had recently teamed up with Hedin to make an offer for Pendragon, but last week pulled out of the deal.
During 2022, the firm bought three BMW and Mini dealers in Stevenage, Luton and Tring – previously owned by Specialist Cars Holdings – for a total consideration of £33.9m, and in the summer bought five Mercedes dealerships and three aftersales sites in North London for a total consideration, including assets, of £144.6m.
The firm said it continues to look for acquisition opportunities and will be looking to grow ‘organically’ with its franchise partners.
The group sold one dealership – Mercedes in Newbury – during the year and has so far closed two Seat dealerships in Northern Ireland in 2023.
In the annual report the firm said that Mercedes’ transition to agency sales has been ‘well managed’ and ‘appropriate training’ has been given to its staff to manage the changes.
Sytner now employees more than 10,000 staff with the highest paid director receiving emoluments worth £2.3m. Sytner looks set to pay a £38.8m tax bill for the year.
The Car Dealer Top 100 for 2023 will be published soon.