May 8, 2019 @ 9:44 by Steven Hugill
A motor retailer says it has overcome marketplace challenges to deliver better-than-expected profits.
Vertu Motors, headquartered in Gateshead, says underlying profits for the year to February 28 were ahead of market expectations.
The company says the result came amid a tough time for the motoring sector, with disruption to new vehicle supply – driven by a weaker pound and EU Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure regulations – compounded by cost pressures and wavering consumer confidence caused by political uncertainty.
According to its results, revealed today (May 8), Vertu’s adjusted profit before tax stood at £23.7 million. Bosses said that although the figure was down on the comparative £28.6 million from a year ago, it was nevertheless ahead of market expectations.
The company saw pre-tax profit fall from £30.4 million in 2018 to £25.3 million, however, it enjoyed a £186 million – or 6.7 per cent – growth in revenues to £3 billion, with like-for-like revenue growth of 5.1 per cent.
In the aftersales market, Vertu saw like-for-like revenue rise seven per cent, with like-for-like used vehicle revenue growth of 11.6 per cent delivering £2.5 million additional gross profit.
Robert Forrester, chief executive, 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, we will continue to generate significant and growing levels of cash.”
Vertu operates more than 120 franchised and three non-franchised operations across England and Scotland, with Bristol Street Motors and Farnell Land Rover part of its portfolio.
The former has garages across the North East and includes sites in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Darlington and Morpeth.