The company operates a contract hire fleet of 6,000 vehicles and has four Ford dealerships in Scotland and one in Northampton and a six-franchise cluster site in Lincoln. Turnover advanced 13% to £59.3 million.
The company said a sharp decline in used vehicle values during the last quarter of 1995 was matched by some recovery in the first quarter of 1996. However, that recovery had been offset by a light decline in retail demand for new vehicles, compared with the same period last year, and continuing low margins on new vehicle retail sales.
The contract hire operation is understood to contribute profits of about 43% and the company is looking to expand its contract hire operation as a result of fleet interest generated by the August 1995 VAT changes. Chairman Aleksandra Clayton said she hoped the fleet would increase to 7,000-8,000 vehicles.