CAR dealership Vertu Motors has further acquisitions in its sights as it continues to prosper from industry consolidation.
The firm, which was launched as a cash shell less than six years ago and is now one of the UK’s biggest motor retailers, warned that the consumer backdrop remained “challenging” with conditions in the European car market “under intense pressure”.
But the group, which trades under the Macklin Motors brand in Scotland, told shareholders at its annual general meeting yesterday that it believed its core business to be robust.
Chairman Paul Williams said: “Investment in growth remains at the top of the board’s agenda and the group has a strong pipeline of further acquisition opportunities.”
Vertu trades mainly under the Bristol Street Motors banner south of the Border following the March 2007 acquisition of the UK’s 13th largest motor retailer. The group currently operates 81 outlets from 69 locations across the UK.
Updating investors on recent trading, Williams said there had been like-for-like profit growth in the key areas of new and used car sales, fleet sales and servicing.
New car sales volumes were up by just 0.3 per cent in the four months to 30 June, well short of industry gains.
However, the firm stressed that it continued to avoid engaging in “significant self-registration activity”.
Fleet and commercial sales volumes jumped by 12.2 per cent, compared to a modest market decline in registrations. Used car sales volumes were up 6.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis.
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