Fleet News

Ryland's profits rise

MOTOR group Ryland has seen profits jump in the first six months of the year, helped by strong growth in its contract hire operation Ryland Multifleet. Interim results show a 20% increase in pre-tax profits (excluding exceptional items) to £2.8m (1996: £2.35m), with total pre-tax profit hitting £3m. Turnover rose to £240.2m (1996: £175.15m).

Chairman Peter Whale said the first half had been buoyant with outstanding performances from the company's contract hire and specialist car activities. He said: 'Innovative marketing initiatives continue to be developed within our contract hire operations, yielding excellent profit growth. The overall fleet has now risen by 71% year on year (32% on a like for like basis) to almost 10,500 units.'

The specialist car operations' new car volumes were up 73% (27% on a like for like basis) and used car volumes up 71% in total (25% like for like). Whale said strong organic growth from the group's existing business portfolio had raised operating profit 30% to £4m, with acquisitions contributing a further £0.1m.

The first half of the year saw Ryland acquire Audi/Volkswagen operations in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford, extend its Renault territory in Coventry to include a satellite in Leamington/Warwick and purchase its first Fiat/Alfa Romeo dealership. It disposed of the Ford dealership at Wolverhampton, but was awarded sole Ford representation in Northampton and Daventry - marking the second Ford acquisition by the company in the last year.

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