Turnover motors ahead despite bumpy patch for Arnold

The firm saw a jump in sales of used cars. Picture: Michael Gillen
The firm saw a jump in sales of used cars. Picture: Michael Gillen
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A fall in new car sales hit profits at Arnold Clark last year although record turnover cemented its position as Scotland’s largest private company.

The Glasgow-based company said it had been affected by an industry-wide drop in new car sales and reduction in margins although the impact was offset by strong growth in used car sales. Group turnover rose to a record £3.93 billion in 2017, up 7.3 per cent on the previous year with pre-tax profits falling to £106.6 million from £125.6m.

New car sales fell by 12.5 per cent to 70,167 but used car sales rose 10.3 per cent to 218,188 from 197,842 in the previous year.

Increases in costs including business rates and the Apprenticeship Levy had also impacted profits. In his chief executive’s statement, Eddie Hawthorne said the group anticipates modest growth in used car sales this year but expects the new car market will continue to decline.