Swansway Group director Peter Smyth has asserted that the automobile retail enterprise is on a “robust monetary footing” after 2022 monetary outcomes revealed declining income.
The Crewe-based AM100 group’s turnover declined 2.3% to £819 million (2021: £838m) as pre-tax income dipped 11% to £22.3 (2021: £25m) in the course of the 12-month interval to December 31, 2022.
Regardless of the decline, Swansway’s 2022 revenue earlier than tax complete was greater than twice that achieved in COVID-impacted 2019.
And Smyth stated that the efficiency, which resulted in EBITDA of £29 million and an £11m improve in shareholder funds to £66.4m – alongside a £3 million discount in borrowings within the interval – left the enterprise well-placed for the longer term.
“Though the income declined in opposition to our all-time excessive of 2021, I consider that our outcomes outperform lots of our friends within the sector.
“Waiting for the rest of 2023 and past, we now have already seen an encouraging efficiency in Q1 of this 12 months, with outcomes exceeding the anticipated expectations, particularly when thought of in opposition to the backdrop of the cost-of-living disaster, an increase in inflation and rates of interest.
“We’ve got a powerful monetary footing, leaving us geared up to maximise alternatives and sort out challenges, while OEMs consolidate and reorganise throughout their deliberate company mannequin introductions.”
Swansway at present represents eight franchised companions at 20 dealership places, alongside six standalone Motor Match used automobile retail companies.
Throughout its 2022 buying and selling interval the group offered a complete of 28,846 autos – compromised of 6,926 retail models, 7,303 fleet and 14,617 used – down 12.3% on 2021’s 32,896 models.
The group’s annual monetary report highlighted demand for its Audi, Volkswagen and Land Rover merchandise, regardless of a faltering of provide.
Restricted deliveries of Honda product was actively mitigated in opposition to with an effort to spice up used automobile volumes, it stated, by the recruitment of further patrons and the creation of a ‘Promote to Swansway’ shopping for operation.
It added: “Publish 12 months finish the brand new car manufacturing ranges look like bettering, nonetheless the group believes that it’s going to take an additional two years to fully obtain a place of normalised provide.”
Swansway relocated its Oldham Volkswagen franchise to a £10m new-build dealership in Chadderton throughout its 2022 buying and selling interval in a transfer that additionally launched a brand new Volkswagen Industrial Automobiles enterprise.
Whereas profitability from its Volkswagen TPS companies delivered a 40% uplift on income, the group additionally acted on a brand new give attention to contract rent below its Secure Automobile Contracts model.
This technique will goal to ship a stronger provide of three-to-four-year-old autos again into the group, it stated.
Elsewhere, it should goal to accumulate freehold property. In September 2022 it acquired its Blackburn Audi website for £4.74m.
Talking on the AM Information Present podcast he revealed that the enterprise had dedicated £5m to the undertaking, admitting he was “frightened to demise” by the specter of a cyberattack.
“For these individuals who have been attacked, I really feel desperately sorry for them”, Smyth stated. “It’s very, very tough. I simply really feel that you simply’ve bought to do the most effective you may.”
The final printed version of AM journal explored the specter of cyberattacks on the automobile retail sector, with an unique interview with Pendragon chief advertising officer Kim Costello about its rubuffal of a hacking ring’s $60 million (£52m) greenback ransom demand – believed to be the most important ever fabricated from a personal firm – and accounts of the current assault on Arnold Clark.