Vertu back to profit in H1 results
07 October 2020
Vertu Motors has recovered swiftly from the lockdown to report a profit before tax of £4.7 million, after the industry-wide shutdown sent its Q1 into loss.
The group’s half-year results to 31 August 2020 show a loss of £14.3m in Q1 but a profit of £19.0m in Q2. Revenue for the period was £1.12 billion.
Vertu’s half-year results also reveal the company has found £10m of annualised savings and that its September performance “gives the board confidence that a strong financial outcome will be delivered in the full financial year”.
Commenting on the results, Robert Forrester, chief executive, said: “The energised Vertu team delivered a safe operating environment for customers and colleagues and an outstanding trading performance as lockdown was eased. Individual records in used cars, aftersales and new cars were set across the Group. We did the basics well and have increased investment in omni-channel technology, which has been received enthusiastically by customers. Vertu made a profit in the first half, we have taken £10m of annualised costs out of the business and period end net cash was £36m.”
He also hinted at future acquisitions: “This is an exceptional performance in the circumstances. We are well placed for the opportunities that an uncertain future offers.”
While the group has reported a profit for its first half, last year’s profit before tax for the same period was £16.1m on a turnover of £1.6bn.
Robert Forrester’s plan
The Group’s key long-term strategic objectives were summarised in the Annual Report and are re-iterated below:
- To grow as a major scaled franchised dealership group and to develop our portfolio of Manufacturer partners, whilst being mindful of industry development trends, to maximise long-run returns.
- To be at the forefront of omni-channel retailing and digitalisation in the sector, delivering a cohesive ‘bricks and clicks’ strategy.
- To reduce the cost base of the Group through scale economies and using digitalisation of processes.
- To develop and motivate the Group’s colleagues to ensure consistency of operational delivery across the business.
- To develop ancillary businesses to add revenue and returns which complement the core business.