VERTU Motors, the automotive retailer with a network of 126 sales and aftersales outlets across the UK, has announced record revenues and profits in its Pre-close Trading Update.
The Board expects trading performance for the year ended February 29 to be ahead of current market expectations, anticipating record revenues and profits in the five months to January 31.
In this period, the high-margin aftersales business continued to grow with improved customer retention into the service channel and continued success in selling service plans.
The Group grew the key aftersales area of vehicle servicing like-for-like revenues by 5.6 per cent, which has helped to improve like-for-like aftersales gross profits, which also increased by 6.7 per cent.
According to the company, these improvements in aftersales performance are a direct result of the Group’s strategies in the key areas of customer retention into service and vehicle health checks performed on all vehicles visiting the Group’s service departments.
Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors, told Car Dealer Magazine: ‘It’s been a great year so far for the Group; we’re just about to deliver record results, we’ve continued to strengthen our management and we’ve added the Audi and Mercedes-Benz franchises to our portfolio – to top that, my favourite football team is at the top of the league table.’
Following the SMMT’s announcement that the UK new car market achieved an all-time high level of vehicle registrations in the year ended 31 December 2015 with 2,633,503 new vehicles registered, the Group has grown private new retail sales volumes by 6.5 per cent, ahead of the UK market growth of 3.6 per cent, thus growing the Group’s market share.
The Group also grew like-for-like new vehicle gross profit per unit as manufacturer targets were achieved at high levels, generating strong growth in new vehicle profits. The outlook for the March new vehicle market is strong with Group new retail like-for-like orders for 2016 up by 11.6 per cent.
Over the past six months, the Group has increased used car marketing activity, which has resulted in like-for-like volume growth of 10.8 per cent. This is significantly ahead of the estimated overall used car market growth and resulted in the Group growing its market share, increasing total gross margin in this key channel on a like-for-like basis by 5.4 per cent and demonstrating the success of this strategy.
Forrester added: ‘Going forward into 2016, we’ll be focusing on making a good job of our new acquisitions, improving operational excellence and working with our manufacturers and dealers to build on our existing business strategies and 2020 Vision.’
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