The company made pre-tax profits of £6.1 million (1996: £4.3 million) - with contract hire now contributing 10% of gross profits and operating profits exceeding £2 million - on turnover up 33% to £500 million (1996: £374 million).
The contract hire division has a client base of more than 3,000 customers with the company's largest accounting for under 2% of the total fleet. Two thirds of the company's leasing expansion can be attributed to the addition of 2,000 vehicles to the fleet following the July 1996 acquisition of Soans Vehicle Contracts. New offices are being opened in Northampton and Bristol.
The company's volume car division reported much improved profitability on substantially higher turnover and the specialist car division achieved a marked uplift in profits and margins.