AUTOMOTIVE retailer Vertu Motors has suffered a pre-tax profit drop to £25.3m during the past year, it revealed today.
In its final results for the year ended February 28, it said its pre-tax profit had gone down from £30.4m last year. Meanwhile, its adjusted profit before tax fell by a similar percentage from £28.6m to £23.7m, which it said was ahead of market expectations.
Its revenue, however, soared by £186m to £3bn – a rise of 6.7 per cent – and it reported an ‘excellent aftersales performance’, which saw like-for-like revenue growth of seven per cent delivering a 6.4 per cent growth in gross profit. Like-for-like used vehicle revenue grew by 11.6 per cent, delivering £2.5m additional gross profit.
Commenting on the results, chief executive Robert Forrester said: ‘Our highly skilled, disciplined and motivated team offers our aftersales, used and new vehicle customers outstanding service. By executing the basic fundamentals well, and with our strong financial position, Vertu will continue to generate significant and growing levels of cash.
‘Over the last three years, we have invested over £85.0m in our capital expenditure programme across our dealership estate. This programme is now coming to an end and we would expect to generate increased levels of cash which, through our disciplined capital allocation framework, we will invest in operations, acquisitions and dividends as well as share buybacks, where appropriate.’
The full-year dividend is 1.6p per share – up 6.7 per cent on 2018’s figure of 1.5p.
Looking ahead, the company, which has a network of 123 sales and aftersales outlets across the UK, said it had traded in line with management’s expectations in March and April 2019, with trading profit expected to be in line with the previous year period.