The company increased revenue by 5.6 percent to £1.6 billion ($2 billion U.S.), while profit before tax fell by 7 percent to £16.1m ($19.7 million U.S.).
New car sales fell by 10.1 percent on a like-for-like basis, but gross profit per unit increased by 3.9 percent to £1,418. The decrease in new car sales was offset by a 1.6 percent increase in used car sales and further growth in fleet vehicle sales. Vehicle servicing and other service revenues helped the company achieve revenue and margins growth.
Vertu Motors, which owns new and used car marketplace Bristol Street Motors, introduced a fully online sales platform for used cars in Dec. 2017. According to the report, the company hopes to further develop its omni-channel retailing strategy “to be at the forefront of the transformation of the automotive retail experience.”
“The board is pleased to see continued growth in high margin after-sales revenues and the continued growth in used car volumes. Cost and excellent working capital control has again been exhibited,” said Vertu chief executive, Robert Forrester. “Our omni-channel retailing strategy and discipline around the allocation of capital, coupled with a net cash position, underpins the Board’s confidence in the future.”
“Overall the group has remarkably delivered higher operating profits in the period and the board believes the group remains on track to meet its overall expectations for the full year,” said new chairman Andy Goss.