Saturday, August 15, 2020

Revenue and profit down at major car retailer

Revenue and profit are down at Motorpoint Group, the Derby vehicle retailer, according to final results for the year ended 31 March 2020.

Revenue declined 3.8% to £1,018m (FY19: £1,058.7m), impacted by temporary site closures during lockdown in March, normally the firm’s busiest trading month.

Profit before tax meanwhile was down 15.3% to £18.8m (FY19 restated: £22.2m), substantially impacted by COVID-19 across March including the period of temporary closure.

The company said that trading volumes since sites reopened in June however have been stronger than anticipated and ahead of the same period last year. It has seen an over 50% increase in year on year web traffic and has completed nearly 2,000 home delivery orders in just over two months.

Mark Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer of Motorpoint Group PLC, said: “As a Group, we responded quickly to what was a fast-changing situation in the final and typically busiest month of our reporting year, and at all times our number one priority has been the safety and wellbeing of our team and customers. I am proud of the way that all of my colleagues responded, having been confronted with an unprecedented set of circumstances.

“Inevitably, the need to temporarily close our sites across the UK resulted in our full year trading performance being impacted, despite trading positively in the months prior to lockdown. However, we made great strategic and operational progress during the year, from the successful opening of our 13th location in Swansea – the first site which does not prepare its own vehicles – to the launch of our dedicated preparation centre in Peterborough, which has helped to improve the speed and effectiveness with which we prepare vehicles, in turn enhancing margins through sharper operational discipline.

“We have continued to invest in the business across our operations, e-commerce and marketing capabilities to provide greater agility to our strategic execution, and to build a sustainable, market-leading platform for the long term. Nevertheless, the Group’s strong cash generation has still allowed us to return over £20m to shareholders during the period. We continued to grow our market share during the year and are very pleased with the strong level of customer take-up of our recently launched fully contactless Home Delivery and Reserve & Collect services, particularly post the year end.

“With the large footprint of our sites, we were able to rapidly put in place enhanced hygiene and socially distanced protocols and have been encouraged by the response from our customers since our sites reopened in June. Although significant uncertainty remains as a result of COVID-19, we are pleased that in the short time since our sites reopened, trading volumes have been ahead of the equivalent period last year and margins at least in line with seasonal norms.

“Notwithstanding the potential challenges ahead as a result of the pandemic, our low-cost, independent, flexible operating model combined with our unique culture and relentless focus on Choice, Value, and Service, leaves us well positioned to grow and to capitalise on the opportunities ahead.”

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