Fleet News

Leasing rise boosts profit figures for Ryland Group

A HUGE increase in contract hire business coupled with a reduction in low margin national fleet deals contributed to an 11% rise in pre-tax profits at Midlands-based vehicle distributor Ryland Group.

The company, which also includes specialist and volume car dealerships, reported growth to a record £3.6 million for the year to April 30, 1996 from £3.2 million in April 1995 on turnover up 32% to £313.8 million (£237.5 million).

In announcing the profit boost, chairman Peter Whale said the Group's contract hire operation, Ryland Multifleet, had made excellent progress. During the year the contract hire fleet grew by a third to almost 6,000 units and following the recent acquisition of Soans and Soans Vehicle Contracts, which operates alongside the main Ford dealership in Leamington which the company also bought, a further 1,800 vehicles will be added, increasing the Group's total fleet size to more than 8,000 units by the end of the month.

The Group's specialist car operations, which include BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz dealerships, also continued to make strong progress contributing 30% of total gross profit compared to 25% last year with new and used car sales increasing significantly.

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