Marshall Motor Holdings to close four dealerships and make ‘limited’ redundancies
Marshall Motor Holdings is planning to close four of its franchised dealerships and will make some redundancies.
It indicated yesterday (Tuesday) that its Hyundai dealership in Cambridge, Ford showroom in Bury St Edmunds, Vauxhall dealership in Knebworth and Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles in Poole are earmarked for closure.
The business said it had the support of its brand partners.
The dealerships made a revenue contribution of £47.3million but a loss of £100,000 in 2019.
Meanwhile, it will make a “limited number” of redundancies across roles including drivers, as the impact of Covid-19 continues to bite. All apprentices, however, will return to the business by the end of October.
And from early 2021, the business also plans to represent Ford Commercial Vehicles in King’s Lynn, from its existing site, and will represent SEAT at an open point in Oxford beside its JLR and Volkswagen businesses.
The company said it “has continued to perform well” in spite of Covid-19 and following a strong trading performance in the important September plate-change month, is targeting an underlying profit before tax performance for the year of £15m.
Chief executive Daksh Gupta said: “Whilst this period of positive trading has been welcomed following the significant impact of Covid-19 in the first half of the Year, there remain a number of uncertainties regarding the trading environment for the remainder of the year and beyond. We are also mindful that the market in Q3 was positively impacted by pent-up demand for new and especially used vehicles, which, allied to restricted supply, created favourable conditions from which the Group was very well positioned to benefit.
“It is for these reasons that we have taken appropriate actions in terms of limited business closures and restructuring measures to ensure the group is well placed to meet these potential future challenges.”
While new vehicle retail registrations were down 1.1 per cent in September, the group’s like-for-like new vehicle retail sales in September grew 19.1 per cent, with total new vehicle retail sales up 38.6 per cent. Total new fleet sales were up 23.9 per cent, compared with the industry’s reported decline of 7.4 per cent. And used vehicle sales in September were up 15.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis and 29.4 per cent in total.
The business confirmed £31.5m adjusted net cash at the end of September, following the £10.9m early repayment of VAT deferral.
In August, the group announced the renewal of its £120m revolving credit facility until 2023. It has net assets of more than £200m.