New car models lift profits at HR Owen

Marion Dakers
LUXURY car dealership HR Owen has driven its profits up with new flagship outlets and the launch of several in-demand models, the FTSE-listed firm said yesterday.

Revenues from continuing operations rose 26 per cent on a year ago to £243.5m, while pre-tax profits jumped from £1.8m to £2.3m, helped by a £300,000 gain from a surrendered property lease.

The firm enjoyed an 11 per cent rise in like-for-like car registration, surpassing the five per cent growth in the overall UK new car market.

HR Owen sold 694 new cars and 844 used cars in 2012, with Lamborghini, Bentley and Ferrari models doing particularly well. It opened a Ferrari showroom in The Berkeley Hotel last summer.

“Our strategy is succeeding in delivering both growth today as well as laying important foundations for the future growth of the business,” said chief executive Joe Doyle.

The group, which ended the year with £4.7m in cash and is “delighted” by trading in 2013 so far, is on the lookout for ways to expand its used car and aftersales businesses this year.

However, the firm expects most of its sales growth in 2013 to come in the second half, when a string of high-end manufacturers launch new cars.