Gateshead-based motor retailers Vertu anticipate record full-year revenues and profits

The board expects trading performance to be in line with current market expectations, anticipating record sales and profits in the period.

Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors
Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors

Motor dealers Vertu are anticipating record full-year revenues and profits having seen vehicle sales volumes grow by 14.3%.

The Gateshead-based firm, which has a network of 117 sales and aftersales outlets across the UK, published a pre-close trading update ahead of its preliminary results for the year ended February 28 2015, outlining continued volume and revenue growth in the five months ended January 31 2015.

The board said it expects trading performance for the year, with total group revenues, including acquisitions, up by 17.8%.

Total vehicle sales volumes grew by 14.3% and like-for-like vehicle sales volumes grew by 7.7%, while like-for-like private new retail sales volumes grew by 0.5%, compared to the overall UK growth in private registrations of 5.4%.

The company, which employs more than 4,200 people across the group, said acquisitions and new dealership openings in the period are being successfully integrated into the group – and further acquisition and development opportunities are being examined.

Directors said the firm’s financial year – and indeed the 2014 calendar year – was very robust by way of sales volumes.

According to the SMMT, 2,476,435 new cars were registered in the UK in 2014, the most since 2004 and the fourth largest year ever.

In terms of future prospects, the company said the UK new car market looks to be stabilising at a high level after a prolonged period of significant growth.

The market note said: “March remains the most important month for the profitability of the UK motor retail sector due to the registration plate change and its impact on new vehicle sales and servicing twelve months later.

“Current market evidence suggests that March 2015 may be a record month for total UK new vehicle registrations, and the group’s like-for-like vehicle order book for March 2015 is currently running ahead of the prior year.”

The group will announce its preliminary results in May.

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