Group revenue is down and losses have increased at Pendragon, according to results for the year ended 31 December 2019.
The Nottingham-based car retailer posted group revenues of £4.5bn, down from over £4.6bn in 2018. Meanwhile the firm posted an underlying loss before tax of £16.4m after seeing profits of £47.8m in 2018.
Pendragon said that “a much improved second half performance and a return to profitability in challenging market conditions were more than offset by significant underlying losses in the first half of the year, resulting in an overall underlying loss before tax in FY19.”
The company continued: “Financial performance in the first half was impacted by a combination of issues, with the principal driver being the impact of the clearance of used car stock from excess levels. The second half performance improved as a result of actions taken by management to re-set performance, which included the closure of 22 underperforming Car Store locations, better management of used vehicle inventory and a clear focus on operational cost management.
“The improvement in performance during the second-half puts the business on a much stronger footing for FY20.”
Bill Berman, Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am excited to have been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of Pendragon and look forward to the prospect of leading the business through a period of rapid change and innovation in the automotive retail sector. Despite having only been with the business for a short period of time, it is clear this is a company with great potential and a very strong team.
“2019 was a year of transition for the Group that played out against challenging market conditions, however, we returned to profitable growth in the second half and this provides us with a solid platform for the coming year. At the moment, we are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the economy as the situation continues to develop.
“We will be providing a fuller update on the Group strategy later in the year, which will continue to be based on four strategic pillars; the opportunity to create a strong, stand-alone used car brand, an improved and stable platform in the Franchised UK Motor division, delivering growth in Pinewood and further strengthening our leasing business. I am confident in the long-term prospects for Pendragon and look forward to communicating our strategy in more detail in due course.”