Fleet News

Appleyards profits down after poor dealership performance

MOTOR vehicle group Appleyard has reported 1996 pre-tax profits down 59% to £3.2 million following a poor performance by its dealership division. However, the reduction in pre-tax profits - down from £7.8 million in 1995 - on turnover of £783 million (1995: £694.37 million) was partially offset by a record-breaking performance by Appleyard Vehicle Contracts, which saw its fleet size reach 17,500 vehicles (1995: 16,000).

Chairman and chief executive Mike Williamson said: 'Two of the three divisions performed extremely well during the year. The principal problem area was the lack of profitability in the passenger car division in the final months of 1996.' However, he said action to rectify that had already been taken with the decision to shed a third of its dealerships in a restructuring operation to weed out low margin and loss-making retail sites. The cost of re-organisation was £8.56 million.

Ten dealerships have been closed and two others sold for £1.6 million. Negotiations are currently taking place to sell a further four outlets. When the changes are complete the company will operate 23 franchises from 37 sites down from 28 and 56 respectively.

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