In January, Kwik-Fit issued a profits warning that mild winter weather had led to lower than expected demand for batteries, tyres and exhausts. For the year ended February 29, the Kwik-Fit group of companies posted turnover up 9% to £515.9 million from £472.8 million in 1997/8 and pre-tax profits up 17% to £64.3 million (1997/8: £55.1 million). Strong fleet performance and the completed acquisition of Speedy Europe for £105 million and the acquisition of Apples Car Clinics, which operates 70 car servicing outlets, helped boost the profits and turnover figures.
Sir Tom Farmer, chairman of Kwik-Fit Holdings, said: 'The past year has been a challenging one and has included the biggest development in the company's history. The major developments during the year place the group in a strong position to expand and develop its businesses throughout Europe.'
In the UK and Ireland Kwik-Fit has 860 motorist service centres, with 754 in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Germany, 171 mobile tyre fitting vehicles in the UK and Netherlands, 92 Hometune Mobile Servicing vehicles in the UK and 30 wholesale distribution centres in the Netherlands and Belgium. The next year will see organic growth among Kwik-Fit Holding's companies, rather than continuing the trend of acquisitions of the past year, according to Farmer.