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‘Resilient’ Marshall Motor Holdings records impressive 2020 results despite Covid-19 impact

Marshall Motor Holdings has confirmed an impressive set of results for 2020 in which profits came close to the previous year despite the pandemic.

CEO Daksh Gupta described employees’ response as “outstanding” and hailed the business’ “resilient” business model that stood up to unprecedented pressure.

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

The company recorded £20.9million in underlying profit before tax, compared to £22.1m 2019. And its reported profit of £20.4m exceeded the previous year’s £19.6m.

Reported revenue was £2.154billion, down from £2.276bn.

“Despite our dealerships being closed for three and a half months, our revenue was down just 5.3 per cent. This was not only due to prior year acquisitions and pent-ip demand, it was also due to our outperformance of the market across our key operations KPIs,” said Daksh.

“This was underpinned by further investment into our brand and digital propositions.”

Like-for-like revenue - a measure that takes out the impact of newly-acquired dealerships - reaching £1.866bn, down just 13.5 per cent on the £2.157bn achieved in 2019.

New vehicle unit sales were down 9.2 per cent, with like-for-like total new vehicle unit sales down 19.4 per cent - significantly outperforming the 29.4 per cent decline in UK new vehicle registrations.

Total used vehicle unit sales were down 5.3 per cent, with like-for-like unit sales down 14.6 per cent. Used vehicle transactions fell 14.9 per cent, which Marshall described as “pleasing” given the enforced closure of showrooms during lockdowns.

Another area that stood up well was aftersales performance, with total revenue down 5.2 per cent and like-for-like revenue down 13.5 per cent.

Underlying earnings per share were 21.1p.

The results reflect the company’s careful management of its dealerships.

Daksh said: “The unprecedented political, economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 challenged governments, businesses and individuals across the world.

“The response of colleagues across our businesses during the year was outstanding. Despite significant uncertainty, our colleagues went above and beyond, rising to the challenges we collectively faced.

“Their contribution to our financial result cannot be underestimated and we thank them all for their dedication and commitment during the year. “Our priority in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic was the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers. As well as ensuring our businesses were safe environments in line with Covid-19 secure guidelines, we worked hard to support colleagues, both financially and through wider wellbeing initiatives.

“Through a combination of support received from both the government and our business partners, a number of one-off sector tailwinds and our continued and significant outperformance of the wider market, we are pleased to report an underlying profit before tax for the year of £20.9m. Our financial position also remains strong, with adjusted net cash at December 31, 2020, of £28.8m.

“Our resilient business model, ability to adapt to changing consumer behaviours, such as those enforced by showroom closures, together with our exceptionally strong relationships with our brand partners, gives us confidence in the group’s future prospects and success.

“I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the board, to thank our fantastic colleagues, our brand partners and suppliers for their continued support.”

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