Vindis Group suffered a pre-tax loss of nearly £2m in 2019 after making a profit of just over £1m the year before – a drop of 298 per cent.
The company’s newly published accounts for the year ending December 31, 2019 show a loss before tax of £1,993,355 versus a pre-tax profit of £1,007,578 for 2018.
In the accompanying report, director Gary Vindis said trading conditions had been ‘challenging’ as demand slowed down.
He highlighted the new car market as having suffered because of the Brexit negotiations as well as ‘election fever’. Supply problems were also encountered because of changes to emissions tests.
The company sold 500 fewer new vehicles in 2019 – down by 8.7 per cent – with their overall contribution dropping by £400,000.
Used car demand went up by 4.9 per cent, but with weaker margins their overall contribution was down by £2.25m.
Turnover, meanwhile, fell by nearly seven per cent from £381.8m to £355.3m.
But Vindis said that despite the problems encountered ‘the continued strength of our brand will help to ensure the company is well placed to deal with the continuing economic challenges’.
Reflecting on 2020, he highlighted the ‘devastating’ impact of coronavirus, saying that the lockdown closure dented its profitability severely.
But he added: ‘Trading since July has been strong and we are confident that the losses made up to the half year will be significantly reduced by the year end.
‘We will continue to be the best we can within the market that we operate in.’
The Huntingdon-based group was established in 1960 by Czech Spitfire pilot Frank Vindis and now has a network of Audi, Bentley, Ducati, Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle retailers across six counties.
It also has two trade parts divisions plus a fleet centre and two used car centres.
Pictured at top via Google Street View is Vindis Group’s Huntingdon Audi dealership