Car and van dealership group Yeomans saw its pre-tax profit tumble by 16 per cent in 2019 to £2.54m.
In its accounts for the year ending December 31, just filed with Companies House, it said profit fell from £3.02m the year before, although group turnover rose from £213.6m in 2018 to £215.4m in 2019.
Managing director James Smith told in the strategic report how falling consumer confidence plus Brexit uncertainty and fears about the future of diesel had hit new car sales, according to the SMMT.
But he added that on the plus side, the manufacturers that it worked with were constantly improving their products, bringing in the latest technologies, including alternative fuel options.
It took over Geo Collins Engineers on April 30, 2019, and Collins’ results and cash flow from the following eight months are included in Yeomans’ overall figures for the year.
The average monthly number of people employed by the group went up from 428 in 2018 to 493 in 2019.
Yeomans, whose registered office is in Ferring, West Sussex, is one of the largest privately owned franchise dealer groups in the south of England.
It represents Citroen, DS, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Peugeot, Toyota and Vauxhall, with Vauxhall being added to the portfolio in 2020.
New and used vehicles are sold at its showrooms in Devon, Hampshire, West Sussex, East Sussex, Surrey, and Smith said several of its dealerships ranked among the most profitable in the UK within their franchises.
He added that post-year and economic conditions were ‘unprecedented’ because of the pandemic and resulting restrictions.
Smith also emphasised that the supply and demand of new and used cars had proved ‘more turbulent’ in 2019 and 2020 because of Brexit and Covid, and that had had an impact on margins.
‘The group continues to provide a number of value-added services which assist in reducing this impact in order to ensure continued profitability,’ he said.
Pictured is Yeomans Peugeot in Ferring. Image via Google Street View