Fleet News

Appleyard reports first half profit decrease

ALLEGED accounting irregularities forced dealer group Appleyard to write down first half profits by £203,000 to £4.6 million. Although turnover was up 14.9% from £339.9 million to £390.5 million, alleged false accounting at the Ian Skelly dealership contributed to a profit fall of £0.3 million on last year's interim figure.

Chairman and chief executive Mike Williamson said Appleyard's contract hire and leasing operation and commercial vehicle division had both performed well but passenger car sales had suffered from margin pressure.

The contract hire division - Appleyard Vehicle Contracts - increased its profits by 11% - largely due to high residual values on disposal of three-year-old ex-contract cars - and the fleet size rose by almost 2,000 vehicles to 17,950. Despite a 20% increase in new car volumes, margins declined compared to the same period in 1995. The Serious Fraud Office is currently investigating the case.

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