Financial results from Inchcape for 2011 reveal pre-tax profits were up by 5.9% to £203.4 million on reduced turnover, down 1.7% to £5.8 billion.
Sales for the year were restricted by supply shortages in Japan caused by the tsunami, however strong cost actions enabled the Group to deliver improved margins.
André Lacroix, Group CEO of Inchcape, said: “In the new car segment we continued to benefit from the strong pricing power of our portfolio of leading premium and luxury brands in Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets; in our aftersales segment which represents around 50% of our gross profit, our gross margin remained strong for our global service and parts operations.”
In the UK, trading profit was ahead 8.1% to £60.4 million on turnover down 3.1% to £2.06 billion.
The distribution element of its results, which is made up of its fleet management and leasing business, Inchcape Fleet Solutions (IFS), recorded growth of 6.2% and an increase in turnover of £400,000 to £6.9 milion. IFS has a combined fleet size of approximately 50,000 vehicles.
Lacroix said: “Inchcape delivered a robust set of results in 2011 as the group continued to strengthen its profitability and balance sheet while focusing on its differentiated customer service strategy and growing market share around the world.
“Reported sales for the year were affected by restricted supply from Japan, however strong cost actions enabled the Group to deliver improved margins."