Vertu Motors PLC leveraged automobile retail’s “sector tailwinds” to ship a 41.9% rise in turnover and 228% rise in adjusted pre-tax income in a record-breaking set of 2021 annual monetary outcomes.
Revenues on the AM100 automobile retail group rose to £3.62 billion (2021: £2.55bn) as adjusted revenue earlier than tax reached £80.7 million (2021: £24.6m) through the 12-month reporting interval to February 28.
Car gross sales volumes forward of market traits, with new automobile volumes up 7.4% as used automobile volumes declined 13.2% on a like-for-like foundation.
Gross margin rose to 12% (FY21: 11.8%, FY20: 10.9%), in the meantime, reflecting “provide constraints and robust pricing disciplines”, the group mentioned.
Commenting on the outcomes, Vertu chief government Robert Forrester mentioned: “The group carried out at document profitability ranges within the yr.
“Undoubtedly aided by well-publicised sector tailwinds, the group executed properly, gained share, strengthened its foundations, positioned itself for the transition to EV and displayed basic progress, all aided by its funding within the Click2Drive expertise platform.
“The outlook will depend upon the out there provide of latest autos and persevering with client confidence.”
Vertu’s reported interval introduced in regards to the acquisition of Hepworth Honda, Huddersfield, Farmer & Carlisle dealerships in Leicester and Loughborough and the addition of Arnold Clark’s former Toyota territory within the West of Scotland.
It additionally joined the MG Motor UK franchise now operates three retailers in Carlisle, Beaconsfield and Edinburgh.
Regardless of the developments, the enterprise reported a strengthened monetary place, with free money stream of £44.2m within the yr and internet money of £16.2m as at February 28 (2021: Internet debt £4.5m).
Forrester mentioned: “The Group’s glorious monetary place offers the resilience to beat any financial slowdown and assets to proceed to develop.”
Model and digital developments
Through the reported interval Vertu moved to bolster its model profile and digital retail capabilities.
In depth TV campaigns, sports activities sponsorships (together with protection of Channel 4’s Components One protection) and partnerships and digital advertising and marketing initiatives helped develop consciousness of the Vertu, Bristol Road Motors and Macklin Motors manufacturers, in addition to the group’s Click2Drive on-line retail providing.
Forrester has but to be satisfied of the case for purely on-line retail, nonetheless, insisting that almost all clients will nonetheless wish to go to considered one of its 160 retail areas for recommendation or a check drive.
Vertu appointed Bruce Clark as chief expertise officer and former Auto Dealer franchise model director Chris Penny as its new group strategic initiatives director throughout its reported interval because it moved to bolster its on-line providing and is now on the hunt for a brand new head of head and a head of information.
In addition to using new AI processes, it migrated its on-line performance to the Amazon cloud to speed-up clients’ on-line expertise.
Nevertheless, simply 900 of the 89,000 used vehicles it bought in 2021 had been executed so in utterly contactless trend, Forester informed AM.
“They’re the people who have purchased end-to-end on-line with no intervention from us and that quantity has doubled year-on-year to get to that time,” he mentioned.
Vertu bought 4,300 vehicles the place a £99 deposit was left to safe the car on-line, however Forrester mentioned that “most got here in for a check drive earlier than they took the automobile from us”.
Vertu has continued to execute multi-franchising actions in its areas to maximise the long-term profitability. Among the many key integrations had been:
The addition of Citroen alongside the group’s current Vauxhall outlet in Northampton.
Vauxhall, Renault, Dacia and Hyundai franchises had been added to the group’s current dealership premises in Dunfermline, Fife, with Ford gross sales operations having ceased.
The Honda Bikes franchise was added to the Group’s current Honda dealership in Stockton bringing the full variety of retailers within the Group’s Vertu Bikes Division to 4.
Opening of a Stellantis multi-brand aftersales centre in Harlow, positioned close to the group’s current Peugeot dealership in Harlow, Essex.
Hyundai franchise added to an current Honda dealership in Sunderland
Peugeot added to Sunderland Vauxhall dealership.
New construct Kia and Peugeot dealership opened in Newbridge, Edinburgh, with MG added in December.
Wanting in direction of the yr forward, Vertu mentioned its ‘Present Enterprise Priorities’ had been: price administration; maximisation of conversion of enquiries to revenues; and buyer expertise to drive retention.
Its group outlook assertion mentioned: “The board believes that the Group is strategically very properly positioned to capitalise on the challenges and alternatives within the UK automotive retail sector and stays assured within the prospects for the group.
“Its robust stability sheet, administration and technological functionality underpin this confidence.”