Fleet News

Takeover will make Vardy UK's third biggest motor retailer

MOTOR dealership chain Reg Vardy is set to become one of Britain's biggest motor retailers following record annual results and a takeover bid for Trust Motor Group. Sunderland-based Reg Vardy has already built up a 26% share stake in the company and intends the £36 million deal to have gone through by the end of the month.

Reg Vardy is expecting to see its annual turnover shoot through the £1 billion barrier if the two companies' present performance continues. It would make it the third largest company of its kind in terms of turnover, so it would take its place behind Lancaster plc, the country's largest distributor in turnover terms, and above Pendragon in third. The announcement came as Reg Vardy announced pre-tax profits for the year to April 30 up 14% to £19.5 million, from £17.1 million in 1997. Turnover was up 21.7% to £824 million from £677million last year.

During the past year, sales of new and used cars topped 100,000 for the first time. Sales totalled 102,264, made up of 33,876 new cars and 68,388 used, and well ahead of 1997's 85,432 cars, including 57,606 used. Buying Trust Motor Group would build on that, adding nine dealerships to the group's 51 and at least three bodyshops to the eight it already owns.

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