Vertu Motors growth continues with new acquisitions

Gateshead firm Vertu Motors has become the UK's largest Hyundai partner with two new outlets

Robert Forrester, Chief Executive of Vertu Motors
Robert Forrester, Chief Executive of Vertu Motors

Motor dealers Vertu have become Hyundai’s largest UK partner following the acquisition of two dealerships in Scotland.

The Gateshead-based firm, which now runs a network of more than 100 sales and aftersales outlets across the UK, has taken over two leasehold properties situated in popular motor retail areas to the East and West of Edinburgh in separate transactions with both Phoenix Car Company Limited and Archers of Edinburgh Limited.

The aggregate consideration, which includes £0.3m for goodwill, is estimated at £0.7m and will be settled in cash from the group’s existing resources.

The investment means it is now running seven Hyundai sales outlets.

Chief executive Robert Forrester said: “We are delighted to become Hyundai’s largest UK partner.

“I have recently visited this manufacturer’s facilities in South Korea and it is clear that the brand‘s ambition, backed by its investment in current and future products, is impressive and Vertu is well placed to be part of Hyundai’s continued success in the UK.

“We are also pleased to announce further development of the group’s Macklin Motors footprint in Scotland.

“From a standing start a couple of years ago, we now have nine dealerships in Scotland and we plan to continue this growth.

“Finally, this acquisition takes the group’s portfolio to 101 sales outlets.

“This is an exciting milestone, and we are building the group’s management and systems infrastructure to ensure that we can continue to grow the scale of the group and its ability to generate profitable growth for our shareholders.

“Vertu continues to have a strong acquisition pipeline and management anticipates further deals to be announced in the near term.”

The news comes after a period of continuous strong trading for Vertu, which last month announced that a “buy and build strategy” executed over seven years had led to record half-year results.

For the six months ended August 2013, turnover increased by 33.3% to £837.2m while pre-tax profits rose by 69% to £8.6m.

An excellent performance in September also saw a 28% like-for-like new retail volume increase and continued market share gains. Over the course of the six months Vertu opened seven new outlets.

Forrester said at the time: “We have a number of things happening on the job front in the future too, including continued expansion at the Gateshead headquarters.

“And clearly the UK economy is rebounding faster than most people thought it was. When you see that car sales are increasing by 20% we have to see if we’ve got the right level of resources and that means we’ve got to take on more people. The business is clearly going well.”

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