Used car supermarket company the Trade Centre Group saw its pre-tax profit sink by 58 per cent to £7.5m last year as sales were hit by the pandemic.
In its accounts for the year to November 30, 2020, which have just been published on the Companies House website, the group also said it claimed £4.496m under the furlough scheme as turnover dropped by 19 per cent to £208.5m.
The number of vehicles it sold went down from 39,939 in its 2019 financial year to 31,860 – a drop of 20 per cent – while EBITDA plummeted by 51 per cent from £21.583m to £10.59m.
In the accompanying report, signed on behalf of the board by chief executive Tim Carr, Trade Centre Group said: ‘Trading was in line with expectations for the first quarter. However, turnover and profitability were then significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions on trade during the year.’
Operating under the Trade Centre Wales brand from showrooms in Neath and Cardiff, and the Trade Centre UK name in Wednesbury, Coventry and Rochdale, its stores were open for 72 per cent of the financial year’s trading days because of the lockdowns but still managed sales volumes of 80 per cent versus the previous year.
It added: ‘After reopening in June 2020 following the first lockdown we performed very well.
‘Various local restrictions persisted throughout the second half of the year, impacting trade and the economy as a whole. As restrictions eased, we had another strong reopening during spring 2021, with trading exceeding our expectations.’
Its Merthyr Tydfil branch was shut and sold to the Welsh government after the year end under a compulsory purchase order for the A465 Heads of the Valleys link road development.
In the accompanying report, signed on behalf of the board by chief executive Tim Carr, Trade Centre Group said it was happy to support the government in what it described as a ‘significant infrastructure project for the benefit of future generations’.
During the year, the company bought a site in Rotherham, which it redeveloped and opened in May 2021, pictured, and it said it was continuing ‘to actively evaluate’ more sites.