CEO Daksh Gupta talks to DirectorsTalk about its positive performance for the six months ended 30th June 2018. Daksh discusses the highlights of the results, how they delivered profit growth and where they see growth opportunities for the remainder of the year and beyond.
· Robust financial performance in our continuing business; continuing underlying profit before tax of £16.4m, up 1.2% on previous record result (H1 2017: £16.2m).
· Like-for-like3 new unit sales to retail customers down 5.9%.
· Like-for-like used unit sales down 0.3%; like-for-like used revenues up 5.2% with strong gross margin improvement, up 37bp to 7.2%.
· Like-for-like aftersales revenue up 3.2%.
· Continuing gross margin maintained at 11.5% (H1 2017: 11.5%).
· Net operating expenses lower than H1 2017 despite significant cost headwinds; driven by strong management actions on discretionary costs and site closures.
· Net cash at 30 June 2018: £0.9m following the disposal of Marshall Leasing Limited (30 June 2017: Net debt £101.1m).
· Net assets at 30 June 2018: £201.2m, £2.58 per share (30 June 2017: £158.0m, £2.04 per share).
· Strong balance sheet underpinned by £121.1m of freehold / long leasehold property (30 June 2017: £112.5m); £120m revolving credit facility extended to June 2021.
· Continued investment in the Group’s property portfolio; £10.0m capital expenditure during the Period.
· Interim dividend maintained at 2.15p per share (2017: 2.15p).
Daksh Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Board is pleased to announce further profit growth in our continuing retail business in the Period against an ongoing background of a challenging UK new car market. This has been achieved by a combination of robust operating disciplines, strong management actions on cost control and the benefit of site closures in 2017. With our excellent portfolio, robust operating disciplines, strong balance sheet and the support of our brand partners, I am confident the Group remains very well positioned for the future. The Board’s current outlook for the full year remains unchanged.”
1 Underlying profit before tax is presented excluding non-underlying items (see Note 6)
2 Includes discontinued operations
3 “Like-for-like” businesses are defined as those which traded under the Group’s ownership throughout both the period under review and the whole of the corresponding comparative period