Inchcape strong FY21 results; focused on significant growth opportunities ahead

Inchcape plc

Inchcape plc (LON:INCH), the leading global automotive distributor, announced today its preliminary results for the year to 31 December 2021

Duncan Tait, Inchcape CEO, commented:

“Inchcape delivered a strong set of FY21 results, with improved performance across all regions. The combination of robust consumer demand and excellent operational execution, against the backdrop of supply shortages, drove our topline recovery and higher margins, enabling profits to rebound to pre-pandemic levels. We are pleased to declare a higher full-year dividend, and reflecting the Group’s highly cash generative business model we have announced another £100m share buyback programme.

During the year we launched our new strategy, Accelerate, which is focused on two exciting growth opportunities. Our ambition is to extend our global leadership in automotive distribution, and to capture more of a vehicle’s lifecycle value. We’ve made great progress with our strategic priorities, adding new markets and OEMs through acquisitions and contract-wins, and further developing our digital and analytics capabilities. Inchcape has a really exciting future, and is well-positioned to deliver sustainable long-term value for all of our stakeholders through organic growth, market consolidation and cash generation.”

Financial highlights:

§ Group revenue of £7.6bn: up 21% on an organic basis and 12% reported; underlying 3% below 2019 levels

§ PBT (pre-exceptionals) of £296m (2020: £128m), driven by strong execution and high vehicle gross margins

§ Statutory profit before tax of £195m, impacted by the loss on disposal of part of our Retail operations in Russia

§ Highly cash generative and strong returns: 2021 free cash flow of £289m (88% cash conversion) and 30% ROCE

§ Strengthened financial position: finished 2021 with net cash of £379m (Dec-20: £266m) following c.£80m share buybacks

§ Proposed final dividend of 16.1p (2021 full year: 22.5p, 2020: 6.9p); announced new £100m share buyback programme

Strategic highlights:

§ Launched new strategy, Accelerate: focussed on two exciting global growth opportunities, leveraging our distribution core

§ Distribution footprint expanded: signed five new contracts adding an aggregate of c.£200m annualised revenue

§ First-time distribution relationships with Geely (Chile) and Chrysler (Caribbean)

§ Broadened geographic footprint: Caribbean (Suzuki, Mercedes-Benz), Indonesia (JLR) and Guatemala (Mercedes-Benz)

§ Accelerated our digital adoption: rolled-out omnichannel capability (DXP), now live in 27 OEM markets (Dec-20: one)

§ Established bravoauto, a multi-brand, digital-first, used car platform – global roll-out to begin in 2022

Outlook:

The Group’s strong performance in 2021 was supported by robust consumer demand and high vehicle gross margins (particularly in Retail), largely due to vehicle supply shortages. Looking ahead, our 2022 performance to date has seen a continuation of the trends experienced last year, although there is ongoing uncertainty relating to vehicle supply and the impact of the pandemic. We expect the Group to continue to make good progress with its strategic priorities in 2022. The strength of our business model and financial position means Inchcape is well placed to continue to grow profits and generate cash, and we are confident in the medium-term outlook set out at the Capital Markets Day in November.

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