Fleet News

Care over falling residuals helps Vardy to record half-year profits

RECORD half-year results have been announced by dealer and contract hire group Reg Vardy, boosted by a series of acquisitions throughout the year and careful handling of falling residual values. Turnover has soared 38% to £567.1 million for the six months to the end of October last year, compared to £409.9 million for the same period in 1997, while pre-tax profit jumped 46% to £12.3 million from £8.4 million.

Trade has been significantly boosted by the purchase of Trust Motor Group in July last year which brought in 10 dealerships. Combined with six other acquisitions during the year, this raised its dealership total to 64. New and used vehicle sales now dwarf last year's record 50,665 at 66,175.

Despite depressed used car prices and deflationary pressures on new car values, margins on vehicles improved thanks to fast turnover of stock and hard bargaining with suppliers, according to chairman Peter Vardy. He added that the firm had not come to the end of the acquisition trail, saying new business opportunities for consolidation 'are being constantly evaluated'.

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