Big Motoring World - Blue Bell HillBig Motoring World - Blue Bell Hill


Used car dealer Big Motoring World sees profits soar despite tough trading for supermarket sector

  • Pre-tax profit rocketed to £10.9m in 2022 – a rise of over 65 per cent
  • Turnover rose by 43 per cent from £371m to £529.7m
  • Big Motoring World parent firm saw new investment and opened a new site
  • Boss expects 2023 to deliver even stronger profits

Time 9:32 am, August 16, 2023

Big Motoring World saw pre-tax profit soar by 65 per cent last year against a backdrop of tough trading conditions for used car supermarkets.

Latest accounts filed to Companies House under the name of Bapchild Motoring World (Kent) Ltd show pre-tax profit rocketed from £6.6m in 2021 to £10.9m for the used car supermarket, bettering the £8.7m made in 2020.

Turnover rose by 43 per cent from £371m to £529.7m.

Some £490.4m came from vehicle sales, £18.6m from finance commission and £20.6m from warranty sales.

Used car sales also rose by 5,000 units to 27,000 across the group.

Directors’ dividends, meanwhile, dropped from the £9.6m in 2021 to £750,000.

During the year, majority shareholder Peter Waddell and other minority shareholders sold part of their stakes to Freshstream LLP.

By the end of 2022, Waddell indirectly owned 62 per cent of Bapchild Motoring World, with Bluebell Cars Holdings Limited (through the Freshstream investment vehicle) indirectly owning 35 per cent.

Along with the new investment, the company also launched its Big Wants Your Car platform in July 2022 – a consumer car-buying service designed to source used cars.

The business also expanded to six retail sites after opening a new supermarket at a former Manheim auction centre in Wimbledon.

It now operates in Kent, north London, south London and Peterborough; the latter being home to two used car supermarkets and its vehicle refurbishment facility – a site that was the base for the now-defunct Carzam online business.

Big Motoring World’s strong financial performance is in sharp contrast to the recent fortunes of its rivals.

Car Dealer exclusively revealed in July that Motorpoint told staff it would shed some 60 jobs to make yearly savings of around £3m.

Meanwhile, Peter Vardy announced earlier this month he was closing two of his purpose-built ‘Peter Vardy Carz’ supermarkets in Dundee and Glasgow due to problems sourcing used cars and dwindling used electric car demand.

Both Waddell and Vardy will be headline speakers at next year’s Car Dealer Live to be held at the British Motor Museum on March 7, 2024.

In the Bapchild accounts, Waddell said the Car Dealer Top 100 company was expecting 2023 to deliver even stronger profits and further expansion was on the cards.

He commented: ‘The company had performed strongly in the early months of 2023.

‘Financial results are ahead of expectations, driven by a year-on-year increase in unit volumes. In the first quarter of 2023, like-for-like unit sales are up 22 per cent on prior year.

‘The directors are cognisant of the deepening cost of living crisis and the impact this may have on consumer demand.

‘With interest rates at their highest level for nearly 15 years and the significant hike in energy prices, disposable incomes are in decline.’

Waddell added that the directors were ‘confident’ of ‘increased profits in 2023 and in expanding operations further’.

‘Other sites [are] in the pipeline as the business maintains its appetite for growth and to achieve its long-term business plan,’ he said.

Peter Waddell will be a headline interviewee at our Car Dealer Live conference in Gaydon on March 7, 2024. Get your tickets here.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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