Fleet News

Motability buy-backs dent Quicks' margins

WEAK residual values have hit Motability buy-back contracts with dealership chain Quicks Group, the company said as it reported results for the year to December 31, 2000 on Friday. The company said the margins of previous years were eroded to the extent that losses were incurred in the final quarter of last year.

Therefore, like a number of other dealership groups, Quicks has taken an exceptional charge of £456,000 to cover anticipated losses on remaining buy-back commitments up to March 2002. Group turnover last year dropped to £553.04 million from £599.8 million in 1999 largely due to upheaval caused by the well-documented investigation into the supply of new cars in the UK and the resulting fall in sales and price reductions.

As a result pre-tax profits dropped to £1.97 million from £3.4 million in 1999, but chairman Michael Moore said recovery was taking place and first quarter profits this year were expected to be in line with budget. Meanwhile, Richard Barber has resigned as chief executive and as a director of Quicks to 'pursue other interests'. Replacing him is David Beck, a former Lex Service executive, who joins the board and will act as chief executive until a permanent successor is appointed.

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