Trading has been “robust” since reopening, has said Marshall Motor Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Daksh Gupta, commenting on the company’s interim results.

"Despite the significant challenges presented by COVID-19, the Group has delivered a resilient first half performance and once again outperformed the market. Since full reopening under COVID-19 secure guidelines on the 1st of June, trading has been robust and our important Q3 order take is encouraging.

New car sales for the group were down 37.7% outperforming the market that was down 48.5%, and used car sales were down 31.8%. The business reported loss of £8.9m in the first half of the year, compared to a profit of £15.2m in the first half of 2019, due to the COVID-19 crisis. Despite this, the results show revenues of £895.3m for the first half of the year.

88% of Marshall’s workforce has now returned to work. Marshall has been ranked for the tenth year as a 'Great Place to Work' and for the sixth year among UK's Best Workplaces.

Gupta added, “This has been achieved as a result of our highly engaged and professional colleagues who have gone above and beyond during this difficult period and I am incredibly proud of their commitment and dedication. On behalf of the Board I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank them for their passion, hard work and support. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank our brand and business partners who have been exceptionally supportive throughout.

“The impact of COVID-19 will accelerate the rationalisation and consolidation of the UK franchise dealer network. With the Group's excellent brand partner relationships, strong balance sheet, recently renewed £120m revolving credit facility, depth of management team and highly engaged colleagues, the Group believes it is well placed to capitalise on value accretive growth opportunities and is therefore well placed to deliver long-term shareholder value."

Speaking to AM following the publication of the results, Gupta “applauded the job by National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to lobby for more Government support during the pandemic”.

He said: “I know the industry was disappointed there was no additional support post-lockdown but I think while there is pent up demand the Government will be looking at what’s happening in the automotive market. You want to see that support if things go horribly wrong in Q4. I’m not convinced that a scrappage scheme would be beneficial, but I think there could be a way to apply some kind of grant for all car manufacturers.”