Covid comparison: Norton Way and Swansway

  24 May 2021

Norton Way saw turnover grow 8.3% to £282.9m in the year ended 31 March 2020, which the directors said was thanks to a 27% growth in corporate sales. However, profit before tax dropped from £3m to £2.6m. This represents a decline in return on sales from 1.2% to 1.0%.

Swansway also revealed its 2020 results, but these were to the year ended 31 December. Although turnover fell from £725.5m to £711.8m, profit before tax rise significantly, from £4.0m to £10.2m. Return on sales rose from 1.14% to 1.98%.

Staff numbers dropped from 1,220 to 1,044 following a “strategic review of the cost base” and administration expenses declined 3.9%. Swansway also put a majority of employees on furlough during the first lockdown, reporting it quickly unfurloughed them when the business reopened on 1 June.

Sites grew from 19 to 20 with the acquisition of a Volkswagen passenger cars site in Oldham. The directors reported a “particularly significant improvement in contribution from the Audi division”, with Crewe, Preston, Blackburn and Carlisle the standouts.

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