FAST growing car dealership group Vertu is continuing to keep its eyes open for potential takeover targets as it drives head with its expansion plans.
Newcastle-based Vertu - which trades under the Bristol Street Motors brand - will tell its Annual General Meeting today that despite the “weakness” of the current economic climate, its profits are in line with expectations.
Now the eighth biggest motor dealership in the UK with analysts tipping group sales to increase to around £876m for 2010, Vertu added two Scottish businesses and two in Cheshire to its brand at the end of June, bringing its total number of sales centres to 66.
Chairman Paul Williams said: “Over the last 12 months the group has acquired 13 new sales outlets. At the time of each acquisition a business plan is produced aimed at a material and sustainable improvement in profit from those often under-performing dealerships.
“Notwithstanding concerns about the general economic environment, we are pleased to report that the acquired dealerships are performing in line with their respective business plans.”
He added that Vertu was continuing to look at a “significant number of growth opportunities” as it continues with its aim of building an even bigger group.
The upbeat statement, covering the four months to the end of June, comes on the back of strong new car sales figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Sales were up by 10.8% in June compared to a year earlier and by almost 20% during the first half of the year. June was the twelfth month in a row to see new motor sales increase following 15 months of falls during the recession.