Stabilising car prices help boost dealer Vertu’s profits | City & Business | Finance

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Car dealer Vertu Motors says that its annual pre-tax profits have risen by £2million to £34.6million, despite falling used vehicle prices during the second half hitting its margins.

For the 12 months to the end of February, Vertu saw its revenues climb 17.5 percent to a record £4.7billion, which helped lift its profits by 6.5 percent. Tight cost control help bring its debt down from £75.3million to a better than expected £54million.

As a result, Vertu lifted its dividend 9.3 percent to 2.35p per share, a payout worth £7.9million to its shareholders.

Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu, was optimistic about its coming year, as used car prices and the profit margins on them have now stabilised, while its aftersales is performing strongly.

‘’It was pleasing to see the group successfully navigating a difficult period of trading with declining used car values in the last few months of 2023,” Forrester said. “Moving to the new financial year, March and April 2024 were successful months. We delivered new retail like-for-like sales volumes ahead of the market decline in March and April. This demonstrates the robustness and strength of our operations.”

Forrester said that one area of concern was that sales of battery electric vehicles have stalled, increasing the risk that the industry will miss Government targets for phasing out petrol and diesel sales. Although business and fleet owners are still buying battery electric vehicles, industry figures show that sales to members of the public have been slowing ever since the Government ended grants in 2022.

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