Fleet News

D C Cook profits fall

MOTOR retail group D C Cook saw pre-tax profits drop to £1.85 million (1996: £2.2 million) for the six months to October 31, 1997. The fall has been attributed to the costs of the company's £2.5 million investment in an expansion programme. This has included the opening of seven new sites, expansion of the company's used car operation, the acquisition of a major Renault dealership in Slough and the award of the St Albans Honda territory.

Turnover for the six months rose to £106.5 million from £100.5 million during the same period in 1996. Chairman Derek Cook said this increase came from the recently opened sites, none of which had traded in the comparable previous half-year period.

He said: 'These dealerships have had a negative effect on our pre-tax profit due to the set-up and launch costs associated with the new dealerships and the losses we sustained in the establishment period. Excluding these dealerships the group on a like-for-like basis has seen an improvement on its pre-tax profit over last year, with a return on turnover marginally improved.'

Future developments include a purpose-built facility for Nissan in Burton-on-Trent, which is due to be trading by mid-1998 and the acquisition of two sites which will operate as D C Cook Motorhouse used car centres.

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