Park’s of Hamilton confident despite ‘modest’ fall in turnover
Park’s of Hamilton, the car sales and coach hire empire founded by former Hearts director Douglas Park, remains in a “good financial position”, according to annual accounts which reveal a modest fall in sales and profits.
The group is one of Scotland’s largest motor dealerships with a string of showrooms in locations that include Coatbridge, Dunfermline, East Kilbride and Glasgow. Franchises held include BMW, Fiat and Skoda.
Newly-filed accounts show that group turnover fell to £339.8 million in the year to 31 March, from £354.1m a year earlier.
Sales in the motor division reversed 5 per cent, though there was a 10 per cent increase at the coach division which operates a fleet of luxury buses. The group also encompasses a number of petrol forecourts and two body repair centres.
A dividend payment of £4.9m was declared, up from £4.5m the year before. The group is majority owned by Park, who had been part of the Blue Knights consortium that attempted to rescue Rangers.
Writing in the accounts, the directors said: “Despite the general uncertainty in the economy, the company is in a good financial position at the end of the year.
“The car market in the UK is highly competitive and margins continue to be tight. We are also subject to consumer spending patterns and consumers’ overall level of disposable income.”
Industry figures last week showed that Scotland’s new car market was continuing to outpace the rest of the UK as consumers snapped up more fuel-efficient vehicles.
There was a 15.3 per cent year-on-year jump in registrations last month – almost twice as high as the increase for the UK as a whole. In the year to September, car sales north of the Border grew by 9.2 per cent compared with 4.3 per cent for the UK.
September is a key month for the car industry as it marks a twice-yearly change in vehicle registration plates. However, sales remain some way short of pre-recession levels.
The Park’s accounts also show the average monthly headcount during the year nudging up from 1,084 to 1,111.
Meanwhile, full-year turnover and profits have held steady at Macrae & Dick, the Inverness-based chain of car dealerships.
Companies House’ documents reveal broadly unchanged sales of £128m and a profit before tax of just over £1.7m in 2011.
The firm, which can trace its roots back to 1878, sells a range of marques including Jaguar, Land Rover and Mini from sites in Elgin, Inverness, Perth and Stirling. It said: “The directors believe the group is well positioned and intend to actively seek opportunities for investment.”
• Body shop specialist Sine-master Motor Factors has opened its first Scottish branch, at Stenhouse Mill Wynd in the west of Edinburgh. The firm began trading from a site in Sheffield selling number plates and replacement panels and now operates from seven locations across the UK.
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