Robert ForresterRobert Forrester


Vertu reveals period of growth as dealer group takes swipe at ZEV mandate in trading update

  • Vertu Motors publishes trading update for three months to the end of May
  • Bosses report strong period of growth with firm on track to meet forecasts
  • However, outfit says ZEV mandate has potential to cause ‘volatility’ in new car market

Time 8:54 am, June 25, 2024

Dealer group Vertu Motors is on track to meet its forecasts for 2024, following a strong period of growth.

That is according to a trading update, issued to shareholders this morning, which reveals the group is currently operating in line with expectations.

In a statement issued via the London Stock Exchange, the outfit says that in the three months to May 31, new car retail and Motability volumes grew by 6.8%.

It also revealed that used vehicle volumes rose by 6.7% with fleet and commercial vehicles increasing by 6.4%.

Elsewhere, like-for-like new vehicle margins remained stable at 7.4%, despite being down on 2023’s 8.1%.

Vertu also benefited from ‘excellent’ growth in service revenue, which rose by more than 10% in the three month period.

Responding to the latest results, Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors, said: ‘I am pleased to report that trading remains positive.

‘Used car pricing has remained stable and we have gained market share in the new retail and Motability car market and delivered strong like-for-like volume growth in used vehicles.

‘The performance of our high margin aftersales business has remained strong.’

ZEV mandate has potential to create volatility

Over the past 18 months, Forrester has been a vocal critic of the government’s EV plans, especially in relation to the ZEV mandate.

Vertu’s latest update has also criticised the measure, which is says could create ‘volatility’ in the new car market.

Despite this, board members still expect Vertu to meet its targets and remain focussed on delivering ‘operational excellence’.

A spokesman said: ‘The board anticipates that full year results for FY25 will be in line with current market expectations.

‘The board has been encouraged by the trading results for the period.

‘The Zero Emission Mandate to force the uptake of zero emission vehicles sold in the UK has the potential to create volatility in the new car market.

‘This may include reduced supply of new petrol and diesel cars in the coming periods and would lead to a strengthening of petrol and diesel used car values.

‘The group’s high margin aftersales businesses have strong growth potential due to additional resource levels and group strategies around customer retention and increased average invoice value per customer.

‘Management remain focused on operational excellence and the delivery of the group’s strategic objectives.

‘A number of growth opportunities are being evaluated against the group’s capital allocation metrics.  The franchised retail market remains very fragmented with the group representing around 5% of the sector.’

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