Fleet News

Perry profits top £10 million mark

CONTRACT hire, crash repair and dealer group Perry has reported a healthy increase in profits after strong growth in its bodyshop and contract hire divisions in the year to December 31 1997. Car sales continued to contribute the bulk of the group's £518 million turnover (1996: £456 million) and £10.1 million profits (1996: £8.3 million), but chairman Richard Allan said margins were still disappointingly thin.

'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.

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