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.