Record results

Recently acquired businesses improving acquisition pipeline strong

Download our full unaudited interim results here: PDF

Unaudited interim results for the six months ended 31 August 2014

Robert Forrester interview on latest results
Interview with Robert Forrester, Chief Executive commenting on the record interim results.
111

Number of Retailers

Financial Highlights

  • Revenues increased by 29.5% to £1,083.9m (2013 H1 : £837.2m)
  • Profit before tax up 48.8% to £12.8m (2013 H1 : £8.6m)
  • Adjusted(1) profit before tax up 51.1% to £13.3m (2013 H1 : £8.8m)
  • Period end net cash of £34.4m (2013 H1 : £25.7m)
  • Balance sheet underpinned by freehold and long leasehold property portfolio of £109.1m (31 August 2013: £104.5m)
  • Healthy operating cash inflow of £15.9m (2013 H1 : £30.4m)
  • Earnings per share up 16.8% to 2.99p (2013 H1 : 2.56p)
  • Adjusted(1) earnings per share up 18.7% to 3.11p (2013 H1 : 2.62p)
  • Interim dividend up 16.7% to 0.35p per share (2013: 0.3p per share) to be paid in January 2015

(1) adjusted for exceptional charges, amortisation of intangible assets and share based payments charge

Operational Highlights

  • Record trading performance driven by recently acquired businesses and favourable market conditions particularly in used cars and service areas
  • Growth strategy progressed with addition of six further sales outlets since 1 March 2014
  • Like-for-like new retail volume increase 11.8% and ahead of the market
  • Like-for-like volumes of fleet cars rose 12.4% and commercial vehicles rose 28.6%, both with market share gains
  • Like-for-like used vehicle volumes increased 11.6%
  • Lower overall Group gross margin due to higher proportion of vehicle sales
  • Lower core Group(2) gross margins in new retail, fleet and commercial vehicle sales as Manufacturer supply push into the UK increases volumes
  • Increase in core Group used car gross profit per unit of 6.8% as pricing disciplines are maintained
  • Service revenues up 4.4% in the core Group, reflecting ongoing success of customer retention strategy
  • Service margins strengthened due to strong core Group margins, up to 76.4% from 75.7%

(2) Core : Dealerships that have traded for two full consecutive financial years.

Outlook Highlights

  • The Board anticipates full year results will be in line with market expectations
  • Continued strong trading performance in September, with a 9.3% like-for-like new retail volume increase against an increase in UK private registrations of 5.9% - market share gains continue
  • September service revenues grew 8.6% in the core Group
  • Peter Jones starts as Chairman on 1 January 2015
  • Strong pipeline of acquisition opportunities

Results Past and Present

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