Marshall Motor Holdings Plc (LON:MMH), one of the UK’s leading automotive retail groups, issued the following trading update in response to the introduction of the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure on 1 September 2018 and the resultant significant impact on the UK new vehicle market during September 2018.
Current trading and outlook
As previously announced, the Group delivered a robust performance in H1 2018 with continuing underlying profit before tax growth on a previous record result. During H2 2018, the challenges presented by a decline in the new vehicle market continue to have been mitigated by strong operational disciplines and the benefits of the decisive action taken in 2017 to proactively manage costs and the Group’s dealership portfolio.
The Board had anticipated a decline in new vehicle registrations in the key plate-change month of September and supply disruption in Q4 and as a result, its previous outlook for the full year remains unchanged.
The Board believes it is right to remain cautious on the UK car market in light of continued economic uncertainty, ongoing consumer confusion around diesel vehicles and the residual impact of WLTP changes on new vehicle supply. With the support of the Group’s brand partners, excellent portfolio, robust operating disciplines and strong balance sheet, the Board continues to believe that the Group remains very well positioned for the future.
Marshall Motor Holdings Plc continues to invest in selected property assets to support its brand partners and offer customers an excellent retail environment whilst remaining focused on maintaining a strong balance sheet. Ongoing developments of a new Jaguar Land Rover facility on freehold land in Lincoln and a new Ford Store on long leasehold land in Cambridge are scheduled to complete in the new year.
The Group also continues to review potential acquisition opportunities.
Full Year Results
The results for the year ending 31 December 2018 are due to be released on 13 March 2019.