The newly published Motor Trader Top 50 Independent Dealers survey tracks a sector in good health with combined turnover up 20% to £4.4bn.
Turnover of the 43 companies in both the 2016 and 2017 MT Top 50s increased 17.2% and the entry point for the MT Top 50 rose from £10m to £17.5m.
The MT Top 50’s average pre-tax profit as a percentage of sales was 2.9%, much higher than the MT Top 200 Franchised Dealers which is published in Motor Trader in in December.
Motorpoint retained its long held top position in the Motor Trader Top 50 listings. The business floated on the London Stock Exchange in May 2016 and opened its 12th site in 2017 following the acquisition of a former Carcraft site in Sheffield.
The group increased revenues in the year to 31 March 2017 by 12.7% to £822m with pre-tax profits up down 13.7% to £15.7m.
Car Giant was in second place with annual turnover of £569.9m and Available in third place with annual turnover of £281.4m
Some of the biggest franchise groups made moves in the sector, the latest being US auto retail giant Penske Automotive, which owns the UK’s biggest franchised dealer group, Sytner.
In January 2017 Penske acquired CarShop for a cash consideration of £71.8m and deferred consideration to a maximum of £20m dependent on future trading results. CarShop is ranked fourth in the MT Top 200 with annual turnover of £257.6m.
Since our last report The Car People, rated fifth this year and last, has completed a multi-million pound expansion of its 4.5-acre Wakefield outlet, increasing its capacity with a new five-oven paint shop and space for 300 cars in preparation and 800 sales-ready units.
Big Motoring World (£174.6m) was in sixth place and has plans to open a new outlet in January 2018 in Kent.
In June this year, Trade Centre Wales, rated seventh, reported sales up 37% to £106m and pre-tax profits up 53% to £10m in the year to November 2016.
While the top six of the latest Motor Trader Top 50 independents remain unchanged there are changes elsewhere in the top ten. Last year’s seventh placed group Fords of Winsford is down to 8, swapping places with the The Trade Centre Wales, based on the company’s estimated figures to the end of November 2017.
Ford of Winsford (£138.1m) and Imperial Cars of Swanwick (£116.6m) fill the remaining slots in the Top 10 rankings.
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