Scottish motor group reports record results in its latest annual accounts

At £308 million, turnover was up 10% up on 2010. More significantly, the group’s operating profit increased 21%, from the 2010 record of £4.1 million to £5.0 million in 2011. New vehicle sales increased by 19% during 2011 to a new record of 7,000 units.

John Clark
John Clark at the opening of the group’s new Pentland Land Rover dealership

For the sixth consecutive year, the John Clark Motor Group achieved turnover growth across each of its service, body repair and parts operations. The group also reports that its multi-franchise trade parts division, saw particular growth and stronger returns during 2011, following the opening of a new trade parts division site in Dundee.

Turning to the development of its dealer network, during 2011, the group was building its new £6 million Pentland Land Rover dealership, in Edinburgh’s Newbridge. Serving its newly extended Land Rover franchise for the whole of Edinburgh and Lothians, the new dealership opened early in 2012.

In 2011 the John Clark Motor Group also extended its Skoda franchise network, opening Specialist Cars Skoda in Dundee and acquiring the Thomson and Potter dealership in Burrelton, near Perth.

On the commercial vehicles front, the group opened a new centre in Dundee, extending the John Clark Motor Group’s Volkswagen van franchise from Edinburgh, through Fife and Dundee, to Aberdeen. A new van showroom and enlarged workshop were completed in Aberdeen.

The group’s expansion has continued in 2012 with the most recent opening being Specialist Cars Nissan dealership in Aberdeen.

This growth and expansion in existing businesses resulted in a 4% increase in the John Clark Motor Group workforce, during 2011, to 708. Further growth in 2012, has taken the total number of employees to more than 750.

In the current year (2012), the John Clark Motor Group reports that its turnover has continued to grow. In the year-to-date turnover is up 15%, while net-profit is ahead of both budget and the comparable period in 2011.

Commenting on the financial results, John Clark, Chairman and Managing Director of the John Clark Motor Group, said:
“Our aim for 2011 was to build on the momentum in 2010. Despite continuing difficult trading conditions, we have succeeded and much of that can be credited to the hard work and dedication of our dealership teams.

“As a group, we have always believed that success depends on the calibre of the people delivering our customer service. So, it is appropriate that one of our significant investments during 2011 was to set up new sustained staff training and an in-house management development programme.

“The accounts show that our staff costs grew at a rate higher than the increase in numbers. Higher average earnings indicate that our colleagues shared in the group’s success.

“Looking to the future, 2012 has started well, but we expect the second half of this year and next year to be quite challenging. Consequently we shall be looking closely at opportunities to grow our after-sales activity, while controlling costs.

“Despite our major investment outlays, with sustained focus on working capital controls we again generated a positive year-end bank balance and we retain a highly supportive relationship with our funding partners. They have confirmed their support for our strategic objectives, including further expansion as and when the right opportunities arise.

“This puts the John Clark Motor Group in a strong financial position. We shall continue to focus on extending relationships with our existing franchise partners. At the same time, we are always open to consider potential opportunities presented to us by other franchises.”

Based in Aberdeen, the John Clark Motor Group has 18 motortrade businesses. The group represents BMW, Mini and Audi in Aberdeen and Dundee, Volkswagen in Aberdeen and Fife, Skoda in Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth, Seat and Nissan in Aberdeen, Land Rover in Edinburgh and Volkswagen vans in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.
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