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12 January, 2017 - 12:39 By Tony Quested

Marshall Motor Holdings stays in top gear

Key acquisitions by Marshall Motor Holdings in Cambridge should cushion the business from an anticipated downturn in new car sales this year and lay the foundation for a new phase of growth, the company says.

CEO Daksh Gupta (above) said that following the UK referendum on EU membership and the resultant continued economic uncertainty, the board remained cautious about the UK vehicle market in 2017 and concurred with current industry forecasts for a decline in the UK market for new vehicle sales.

But as a result of the strategic acquisitions of SGS and Ridgeway, the group remained well positioned and continues to seek to drive further growth in its profitability and return on capital.

MMH says this ambition is “supported by a balanced portfolio of brands, attractive geographic locations and excellent brand partner relationships.”

In a pre-close statement ahead of the March 15 release of its full year results for the year ended December 31, 2016, MMH said it continued to build on the record financial performance reported during the first half of the year, delivering further material improvements during the second half of FY16. This was driven by continued strong like-for-like revenue growth and contributions from recent acquisitions including SG Smith Holdings and Ridgeway Garages (Newbury) Limited. 

It said the financial performance of the group during FY16 was anticipated to be comfortably in line with the company’s expectations.

During FY16, the group's retail segment showed strong growth in both revenue and profitability, including contributions from both SGS and Ridgeway.

The like-for-like growth in sales of new vehicle units reported in H1 strengthened in H2, although margins remained under pressure. Like-for-like sales of used vehicle units during FY16 were marginally above the comparable period last year. Strong like-for-like growth in after-sales revenues and margins continued throughout FY16.

MMH said its leasing segment performed well and in line with expectations during FY16. The leasing fleet continued to show growth and, at 6192 units at the end of FY16, was 2.7 per cent ahead of the position reported at December 31, 2015.  The used car market remained robust in FY16 and the segment has continued to benefit from good levels of disposal profitability, the company added.

The group’s balance sheet remains strong, underpinned by over £100 million of freehold/long leasehold property.

Kiss Communications

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