Scottish car dealer gearing for growth despite squeeze on profits
The group has evolved from a single dealership in Perth in 2006 to encompass a number of franchises, a luxury car division, a new mobility division and a car finance broker, CarMoney. It has secured a revolving credit facility for £25 million for a period of three years, with options to extend, alongside access to used vehicle stocking facilities of £70m.
Newly released results for 2022 show that group-wide turnover increased by 5 per cent to £609m. The core motor retail division, which comprises a string of dealerships and used car supermarkets in Scotland, generated a turnover of £590.5m, up from £560.7m in 2021. Underlying earnings came in at £11.9m, down from £15.7m.
The firm pointed to a number of headwinds including a market-wide reduction in used car supply and increased operating costs, most notably interest rates, business rates and utility bills as well as employment costs. The reduction in used car supply, and the resulting margin erosion impacted the motor division, with the majority of the group’s retail outlets being the Carz-branded used car supermarkets.
In 2022, CarMoney delivered a record-breaking financial performance, generating a 73 per cent surge in turnover. Operating profits before tax topped £4.1m, an increase of more than 24 per cent. CarMoney is said to have achieved substantial growth in both its business-to-consumer division and retailer brokering service arm. This success has prompted a “significant growth strategy”, including expansion into overseas markets and further investment in its direct-to-consumer brand.
The group said it was committed to its purpose of “we sell to give”. In 2022, efforts focused on supporting grant-giving for children in Scotland and Ukraine, with a particular emphasis on the group’s own start-up charity. Peter Vardy Group trades from 14 locations across Scotland, representing brands such as Porsche, Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, Mini, MG and Ora alongside the Carz used car operation. The firm donates 10 per cent of its annual group profits to good causes in the UK and internationally via The Peter Vardy Foundation.
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