Chairman and chief executive Richard Allan said the contract hire division was modest in size, but had made a 'meaningful contribution' to the group's profits following a successful change of strategy. He said: 'We have found it difficult to obtain volume business at rates which leave an acceptable margin. We now concentrate on providing a high quality service to a small portfolio of customers.'
Allan declined to reveal the contract hire division's fleet size or details of its profits, adding that such details would not be published until the end of year results. Elsewhere in the group plans are under way to expand the Nationwide Crash Repair Centre network to around 50 by the end of the year and the company has recently entered contracts to establish two more Car Pavilion used car centres.