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Marshall Motor Holdings outperforms the new, used and fleet markets

Marshall Motor Holdings has recorded another strong set of results despite a challenging market.

The group’s like-for-like revenue grew 0.9 per cent to £1,160.6million in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018, and it outperformed the market for new, used and fleet vehicles.

Daksh Gupta, CEO of Marshall Motor Holdings
Daksh Gupta, CEO of Marshall Motor Holdings

Despite brittle consumer confidence amid the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, the company’s interim results show underlying profit before tax of £15.2m for the period, down 5.3 per cent on the £16m achieved last year.

CEO Daksh Gupta told the Cambridge Independent: “It’s well known that the market is challenging, driven by the wider political and economic uncertainty.

“The new retail, new fleet and used markets all declined in the first half of the year, -3.2 per cent, -3.6 per cent and -1.7 per cent respectively. Despite operating in these conditions Marshall managed to outperform all of these markets with new retail units down just 0.4 per cent, fleet -1.1 per cent and we enjoyed an exceptionally strong used unit car performance, with sales up 7.2 per cent.

“The group has an exceptionally strong balance sheet with net assets over £200m, underpinned by £123m of freehold assets.

“We cash generated £40m in the period, had cash balances at the end of the first half of £5.8m and an RCF of £120m which positions the group well for further growth opportunities.”

During the year, the group has continued to invest, acquiring the freehold property at Northampton ŠKODA for £1.7m. It is now the UK’s largest ŠKODA retailer, after acquiring six ŠKODA franchised dealerships, taking the number of operating units to 120.

Key to its success has been achieving a well balanced portfolio of volume, premium and alternative premium brands, and a major programme of acquisitions and sales.

“Clearly the group has been one of the UK’s leading consolidators over the last decade, having bought and sold no fewer than 146 businesses,” said Daksh, who paid tribute to Sir Michael Marshall, who died on July 27, aged 87.

“We believe the challenging market conditions will drive further opportunities for the group to grow and carry on the fantastic legacy of Sir Michael,” he said.

Announcing the results to shareholders, who receive an interim dividend of 2.85p a share, up 32.6 per cent following a revised policy, Daksh said the board’s outlook for the full year remains unchanged, in spite of further potential new vehicle supply constraints in the lead up to the implementation of further emissions-related regulations on September 1, 2019.

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