Farmer Autocare, which was launched with four branches 13 years ago and now operates 17 tyre and exhaust fitting centres across central Scotland, saw profits motor by over 16 per cent to £1.27 million in the year to 31 July.
Turnover at the company run by Ron Hewitt, the former chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, rose by 6.3 per cent to £13.1m. Hewitt said that the improvement in profits had been as a “result of efforts made to reduce overhead costs”.
He was taken on by Farmer in 2012 with a mission to expand the business after having previously worked for the entrepreneur as managing director of Kwik-Fit Insurance, as well as in the retail tyre business and for the RAC.
According to the firm’s latest accounts, staff numbers increased to 147 from 138 during the year and the highest paid director – presumed to be Hewitt – received £114,555, up from £109,099 the previous year.
Many of the Farmer Autocare outlets are run on a co-ownership basis, where the local operator is in charge of the day-to-day business while the wages, administration and accounts are dealt with centrally.
Farmer started his first business, Tyres & Accessories Supplies, in Edinburgh in 1964 and sold it in 1968 before founding Kwik-Fit in 1971 and building it into one of the world’s largest car servicing companies. He sold it to Ford in 1999 for some £1 billion.