JCT600 chief executive John Tordoff
But over-supply pushes operating profit down for Bradford-based car dealer JCT600
Bradford-based car retailer JCT600 - the largest privately owned business in Yorkshire - has achieved record revenues of £1.222 billion, an increase of almost 7% since the previous year despite a challenging market for the motor industry.
Both new and used vehicle sales, as well as aftersales, hit new records, but over-supply pushed vehicle profit margins down and operating costs up, meaning overall operating profit before exceptionals decreased to £17.9m from £20.7m.
But JCT600 continued to invest in its 50-strong network of dealerships with major redevelopments taking place at Audi Lincoln, Bentley Leeds and Newcastle, Mazda Leeds, Volkswagen Hull, Rotherham and York, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Hull and Vauxhall Bradford. The group also started work on Porsche Centre Teesside which is due to open in June.
“Last year, the UK’s national new car market hit a record of 2.7m registrations which, on the face of it, suggests the industry is in rude health, however, a significant number of these vehicles were pre-registered by dealers in order to achieve manufacturer targets,"explained chief executive John Tordoff.
"With many of these vehicles subsequently being sold as used cars, this resulted in a significant downward pressure on both new and used vehicle profit margins. However, with over 70 years’ experience, we are well-versed in the vagaries of the market."
Group finance director Nigel Shaw added: “Last year, many of our brands put in strong performances and, despite uncertainty in the UK economy in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, so far customer confidence remains strong. As a well-established business with a strong reputation and a loyal customer base, we are looking forward to further growth.”
Founded in 1946 as Brooklands Garage on Sticker Lane, Bradford, by current chairman Jack Tordoff, JCT600 (the name comes from his personalised number plate) has grown from a single dealership and now represents 18 of the world’s leading car marques with a team of 2,300 staff.