Macklin Motors owner Vertu on road to forecast-topping profit despite lockdowns

Vertu Motors, the car dealership group with a dozen Macklin Motors showrooms in Scotland, remains on the road to forecast-topping annual profits despite the latest lockdown measures.

Robert Forrester is the chief executive of Vertu Motors, the car dealership group with a dozen Macklin Motors showrooms in Scotland.
Robert Forrester is the chief executive of Vertu Motors, the car dealership group with a dozen Macklin Motors showrooms in Scotland.

In a stock market update to investors, bosses noted that trading continued to be impacted by the lockdowns on both sides of the Border which have restricted sales activity.

However, the group said it has benefited from strong marketing activity, maximisation of its “omni-channel retailing functionality” and cost controls.

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The overall profit performance has also benefited from a previously announced cost reduction programme and the continued business rates holiday on showrooms.

It told investors: “Whilst uncertainties remain over the trading performance of the group for February and into the next financial year because of the ongoing Covid restrictions, the board now expect that the trading result for the year ending 28 February 2021, at an adjusted profit before tax level, will exceed the current analysts’ forecasts of around £18 million.”

Vertu was established in 2006 and has grown into the fifth largest car retailer in the UK with a network of 146 sales outlets. Its dealerships operate predominantly under the Bristol Street Motors, Vertu, Farnell and Macklin Motors brand names.

In December, the group said its trading performance had remained ahead of the prior year and original budget levels. It also unveiled a “significant” acquisition giving it a major BMW and Mini presence in Yorkshire and the north-east of England.

In July, Vertu said it would trim its headcount by about 6 per cent, equating to some 345 workers across the UK, as a result of efficiency improvements and other cost initiatives.

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