VERTU Motors reported an eight per cent increase in revenues when it published its interim financial results for the six months to the end of August today.
The automotive retailer with a network of 125 sales and aftersales outlets across the UK said that revenues stood at £1.56 billion compared to £1.45 billion for the same period last year.
However, profit numbers were down. Adjusted operating profit was £19.4 million for the period (£21.4 million for the same timeframe last year); adjusted profit before tax was £18.1 million (£20.9 million last time); and profit before tax stood at £17.3 million (£24.2 million).
Last year’s profit before tax figure was boosted by £4.1 million because of the disposal of some freehold property.
Vertu said that adjusted earnings per share stood at 3.90p (4.24p at this time last year) and at the end of August, the company had net debt of £8.7 million. The interim dividend was held at 0.55p per share, the same amount as at this time in 2017.
The company mentioned various facts and figures as operational highlights.
Like-for-like service revenues were up 7.4 per cent, continuing the company’s long-term growth in that area, while aftersales gross profits rose £3.4 million year-on-year.
There was strong growth in like-for-like used vehicle volumes of 5.8 per cent, leading to 12.4 per cent revenue growth.
And there was an increase in like-for-like used car gross profits due to volume growth and higher gross profit per unit.
Like-for-like new car retail volumes were up 5.7 per cent while average new car sales prices continued to rise with gross profit per unit stable.
Commenting on the results, described by the company as a ‘robust’ set of figures, chief executive Robert Forrester said: ‘The Group performed well in the first half against a back drop of supply-side issues in the new car market, including the continued weakness of Sterling and the impact of WLTP.
‘The board is pleased to see further growth in aftersales revenues and to re-establish growth in used car volumes.
‘On the demand side, consumer confidence has remained robust during the period reflecting the underlying strength of the UK economy.
‘As is so often the case in the UK new car market, the supply side is by far and away the key to explaining variations and trends.
‘The group’s discipline around the allocation of capital, its low net debt level, including a very low usage level of used vehicle stock financing, together with a very strong property portfolio, places the group in a strong position to take advantage of consolidation opportunities to continue to grow the value of the company.’