Marshall buys Motorline for £64.5m – Auto Retail Agenda

Marshall Motors has bought the entire Motorline group for £64.5 million. The acquisition will add 48 franchise points including 19 Toyota and Lexus locations – brands Marshall is understood to have been looking to add for some time. Motorline was the UK’s second largest retail partner for the Japanese manufacturer.

Motorline was also the joint second largest Hyundai retailer in the UK with seven franchises.

The purchase is expected to result in Marshall’s annual turnover exceeding £3bn.

Motorline’s consolidated revenues for the year ending 31 December 2020 were £695.2m with profit before tax of £6.1m (which included a one-off profit on the disposal of freehold property and other one-off items of in aggregate c£4.0m). Motorline’s consolidated shareholder funds at completion are c£30m.

Commenting on the acquisition, Daksh Gupta, CEO of Marshall Motor Holdings, said: “The acquisition has been funded from existing cash resources and is expected to generate attractive financial returns for our group.

“We are delighted to begin new and significant partnerships with Toyota/Lexus and Hyundai. These brands, with a combined market share in the UK of over 11%, have been a target for the group for some time and the acquisition of Motorline provides immediate scale with each of them. I would like to thank each of them for supporting this acquisition and very much look forward to working with them over the coming years to develop a mutually successful partnership.”

Vertu Motors delivers record £51.8m profit in H1 2021 – AM Online

Vertu Motors has highlighted further growth potential through an “increasingly visible acquisition pipeline” after delivering a record £51.8 million adjusted pre-tax profit in H1 2021.

The group revealed the 10-fold rise in profits in a set of interim financial results for the period to August 31, which also showed a 71.9% rise in revenues, to £1.92bn, as its new car sales rose by 44.8% and used car sales by 67.3%.

The group increased its full-year profit forecast by 19% to at least £65m (previously £50m to £55m) in light of the performance.

Vertu chief executive, Robert Forrester, credited market forces for much of the uplift in performance, with vehicle supply shortages triggering an uplift in margins.

The result was a £22.3m increase in gross profit generated from used vehicle sales compared to the same period in 2019, as gross profit per unit grew 42.4% to £1,679.

New car sales delivered a £0.7m increase in gross profit as gross profit per unit rose 20.2% on 2019 to £1,694.

Cambria Automobiles re-privatisation approved at car retailer’s AGM – AM Online

Cambria Automobiles' return into private ownership has been officially approved at the car retail group’s annual general meeting.

A statement issued following the AGM on 11 October revealed that all resolutions were passed in the motion to return the business to private ownership after 11 years spent as a PLC trading shares on the London Stock Exchange.

Harwoods Group 2020 financial results reveal 8.7% turnover decline – AM Online

Harwoods Group has reported a £2.57m pre-tax profit for 2020 despite suffering a 41% decline due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the car retail sector.

The group’s annual financial results for the period to December 31, 2020, show a turnover of £494.4m (2019: £541.2m) and PBT of £2.57m (2019: £3.64m).

Its results revealed that its operations were boosted by £3.7m in Government furlough support during the period, which included a series of COVID-19 lockdowns and trading restrictions.

Guy Rowson, Harwoods’ secretary, said: “The directors have implemented actions to take account of this risk, to ensure the group can remain profitable.

“The directors are working with all staff to ensure their continuing welfare and with customers to ensure their requirements can be met.”

Harwoods’ results revealed that its employee wages fell slightly throughout the year as headcount reduced from 1,012 to 983.

The group revealed that it had also divested of two development sites elsewhere during its 2020 financial year, however.

Harwoods’ results statement revealed that it had recruited an occupational health manager during 2020 to help guide its workforce through the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also recruited a new HR manager after separating out its payroll and HR functions.

Payments to directors rose from £961,321 in 2019 to £1.04m in the period, however.

Pendragon appoints former DFS CEO Ian Filby as non-executive chairman – AM Online

Pendragon has appointed former DFS chief executive Ian Filby as non-executive chairman as it sets out to deliver on its new, digitally-driven strategic priorities.

Filby, who is also currently the non-executive chairman of fashion and lifestyle brand Joules PLC, will chair the car retail group’s Nomination Committee and serve on its Remuneration Committee after officially taking up his new role on November 1.

The move sees Pendragon chief executive Bill Berman relinquish the role of executive chairman, which he has held on an interim basis since September 2019.

Filby said: “I am hugely excited to have the opportunity to chair Pendragon PLC, particularly as the strategy launched in September 2020 begins to have a significant impact on the Company’s growth and prospects as it is implemented.

“I believe that my extensive retail experience will be of significant benefit to the Company and the Board as I work with the leadership team to lead Pendragon through the next stage of its development”.