Fleet News

Renewed consumer confidence boosts dealer's results

LAMBORGHINI to Land Rover dealership group HR Owen pushed profits above £2 million following a bumper year for new car sales.

The firm reported pre-tax profits of £2 million for the year to December 31, 2001, up £200,000 on the year before.

Before exceptionals and goodwill, the firms profits on ordinary activities had leapt from £1.1 million to £3.1 million. Turnover increased 6% to £529 million.

A key benefit for the firm had been the return of car buyers previously deterred by the damaging 'rip-off' Britain car price campaign, led by the Consumers Association.

The firm added: 'The growing realisation by car buyers that the overpricing issue was both much exaggerated and largely dependent on tax differences provided yet another stimulus to the unprecedented levels of consumer demand for new vehicles during 2001.'

The firm said a more focused approach to its four dealer groups (DaimlerChrylser, Volkswagen, Premier Automotive Group and Specialist Division) had helped business, backed by a new call centre and upgraded computer systems.

In December, the firm disposed of the assets and goodwill of its Vauxhall, Cadillac and Chevrolet dealership in Chiselhurst, raising £1.6 million.

The firm has also decided to close its Citroen operation in Burnham, which no longer fits the group's revised strategy.

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