Lookers’ £4.5m transformation of BMW Crewe into ‘regional retail hub’

Lookers has revealed a £4.5 million plan to transform its BMW car dealership in Crewe into a regional retail hub for the German premium car brand.

A statement issued by the AM100 PLC today (September 26) said that the “major redesign and refurbishment” of the site off Weston Road would see the long-established dealership transformed into “a major regional retail hub” for the brand in the North West.

Work is due to start later this month and should be completed in time for an official opening in March next year, it added.

Commenting on the start of works at BMW Crewe, the dealership’s head of business Rob Gower said: “This significant investment reflects our commitment to the community in Crewe the local economy and BMW Mini as our brand partner which will offer an exceptional experience for everyone.

Arnold Clark sees profits rocket 68% to £263m

Arnold Clark turned in a massive performance in the year to December 2021 with pre-tax profits surging 68% to £263m on turnover ahead 25% to £4.7bn.

The group received £5.7m of rates relief during the first four months of the year when its showrooms were closed but did not avail of Coronavirus Job Retention scheme which would have been available for 700 staff during the first three months of the year.

It said long lead times for new vehicles remained a challenge but it increased retail used cars by 9.5% to 224,000 vehicles despite a market wide shortage of used cars. Demand for aftersales services rose with sales up 11% to £203.7m.

Arnold Clark Finance, its vehicle management and daily rental arm, saw pre-tax profits grow by £27m to £42.1m.

Hedin Group removes block on rival Pendragon takeover bids

Hedin Group has withdrawn its move to block rival bids for AM100 car retail group Pendragon after a “surprise” announcement from the PLC’s board.

In a dramatic U-turn, the Swedish automotive retailer said in a statement issued via the London Stock Exchange that it would now consider any takeover bid of 35p per share or more following an announcement which cast doubt over the future of Pinewood Technologies as part of Pendragon’s future business.

It comes just days after Hedin followed its 29p per share bid for the group – valuing the operation at around £411 million – with an assertion that it “will not consider or accept any other offers for its current shareholding in Pendragon”.

In its latest statement, Hedin said that it noted the announcement made by the board of Pendragon on September 27, which revealed it was conducting a review of potential strategic options for Pendragon, adding: “Hedin Mobility was surprised by the announcement which seems to contradict the long-term view of the Pendragon board that Pinewood continues to be a fundamental aspect of Pendragon's strategy, which was reiterated to Hedin Mobility by Pendragon as recently as 25 September 2022.

Sytner Group sees pre-tax profit soar to more than £178m as impact of pandemic eases

Sytner Group enjoyed a 77 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to more than £178m last year as the pandemic impact eased.

In its accounts for the year ended December 31, 2021, which have just been published on the Companies House website, the company, which operates used car supermarkets under the CarShop banner plus franchised dealerships, said its profit before tax went up from £100.4m in 2020 to £178.1m in 2021.

That was on an 18 per cent revenue increase from £4.9bn to £5.8bn for the business that is ranked second in the Car Dealer Top 100.

Group operating profit, meanwhile, rocketed by 64 per cent from £114.2m to £187.4m.

John Clark sees four-fold increase in profits to £24m

John Clark Motor Group delivered a strong performance in 2021 with a near quadrupling of pre-tax profits to £24.06m (£6.26m) on turnover up 26.1% to £910.3m (£721.8m).

The group, with dealerships across North, East and Central Scotland, saw new vehicle sales volumes up 7.2% to 12,065, outperforming the UK market.

Its retail used vehicle sales volumes grew by 33.4% to 20,831 units. Service revenue grew by 18.7%, and parts by a further 21.7%, albeit against the backdrop of COVID related closures in 2020.

Chris Clark, group managing director said: “I am immensely proud of what our teams have achieved in 2021.

JCT600 turns in best performance in group’s 75-year history

JCT600 more than doubled profits to £45m (£19.6m) in 2021 on turnover up 16.9% to £1.3bn. It was the best trading performance in the company’s 75-year history, according to results filed at Companies House.

As it did in 2020m the group utilised the Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and topped up payments to STAFF on Furlough, so they received full PAY for their periods of absence.

In 2021 JCT600 opened a new Porsche Centre in York and bought the freehold of the Mercedes-Benz premises in the city.

Its new vehicle sales increased by 14%, outperforming the UK market which grew by 1%, according to SMMT figures. Gross profit margins increased by 6%.

Used vehicle unit sales rose by 3.6% and gross profit margins increased by 26.9%.