'During 1997 we sold 22,549 new cars - an increase of 14%. The departmental profit contribution was 66% better than 1996, but still nothing like a proper return on our large investment,' he said. Allan was more positive about the rapidly-expanding Nationwide Crash Repair Centres, whose network grew to 50 over the last year, with a fifth of their work coming from Perry's in-house accident management company Network Services.
Perry Contract Hire's 5,000-vehicle fleet was responsible for a £418,000 contribution to profits - more than double last year's figure of £163,000 - on turnover up £1 million at £8.2 million. Allan said a new computer system would allow Perry to handle double the current fleet size without significantly increasing costs.