Overall, the company saw turnover grow to £119 million (2000: £107 million), although pre-tax profits fell £200,000 to £1 million because of a fall in operating profits from the restaurant division.
Gowrings group currently operates from 51 locations and has 2000 employees. Its restraurant division operates a chain of 42 Burger King restaurants, while the motor division has three main Ford dealerships in Wokingham, Newbury and Bracknell, along with four bodyshops in Newbury, Wokingham, Swindon and Oxford.
Chairman John Fowles announced his retirement at the publication of the results, commenting: 'I will be 70 this year and as is our practice will step down as chairman at the end of the year.
'I will remain as a non-executive director. As recognition of my nearly 40 years service, the board has asked me to become president.'
Vivian Thomas, a non-executive director since 1992, will retire in March, the firm announced.