Zenith delivered EBITDA of £61.5m in its corporate fleet business, up £3.2m, or 5.4% on the previous year, according to its annual financial results up to Match 31.
After incorporating the results from its digital direct-to-consumer brand ZenAuto, which the Group has invested heavily in during the period, statutory EBITDA was £58.1m, compared to £56.1m the previous year, an increase of 3.4% (£2m).
Tim Buchan (pictured), chief executive officer for Zenith, said that 2020 was “unlike any other year in living memory”, with the global Covid-19 pandemic creating “huge challenges”.
“Despite this, I am pleased that we were able to deliver such an excellent performance,” he said. “It’s testament to the quality and culture of the business that we were not only able to hold our position but to deliver strong growth in so many areas.”
In September 2020, Zenith acquired the fleet services and rental operations of the Cartwright Group and saw 259 new colleagues join Zenith’s Commercial division. Both Zenith Commercial Fleet Solutions and Zenith Trailer Rentals have performed strongly since the acquisition, it says.
Buchan said: “The fact that we were able to complete an acquisition like Cartwright in record speed demonstrates the agility of the business.
“The deal saved 259 jobs and secured Zenith’s position as the UK’s largest HGV and specialist fleet operator, managing 50,000 vehicles and one of the largest trailer rental fleets in the country.”
He continued: “Throughout the year, we continued to invest and innovate, with ZenAuto being a particular area of focus for us as our digital, direct-to-consumer offer continues to grow. But that investment has also been in our people as we continue to invest in the next generation of the Zenith team.
“I’m really excited as we look forward to the coming year. We have seen that our business model, our unique range of services and the demand for vehicle mobility will be central to everybody’s lives in the future as we emerge from the pandemic, and I am confident that Zenith will continue to go from strength to strength.”
The business today manages more than 150,000 vehicles across the full range of asset types, from company cars and vans to trucks and trailers.
Zenith employs Kickstart Scheme
Zenith has helped 20 young people find work as part of the Government’s Kickstart Scheme, with the new recruits working across a range of roles at its Leeds headquarters.
Suzie Moody, learning and development manager at Zenith, said: “We’ve had a great response to our Kickstart Scheme.
“It will help 20 young people take their first step on the career ladder while at the same time learning more about the workplace and receiving training.
“We’re a growing business and always looking for talent. We’re part of a community and regional economy, so it was important to us that we do what we can to help our enthusiastic ‘Kickstarters’.”
The successful applicants will work in roles ranging from customer service to the company’s people team, legal team and operations team.
The Kickstart Scheme is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions to ensure every young person participating will be guaranteed the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage.
It provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
As well as working with the Government, Zenith has partnered with The Prince’s Trust, a UK-wide youth charity with 45 years’ worth of experience specialising in youth employability support, to provide employment skills training.