Driving association the AA saw its profit rise nearly a fifth over the financial year, and said it expected this year’s performance to be only marginally lower due to the coronavirus crisis.
Shares in the motorists group rose nearly 14 per cent on the back of the announcement.
Profit for the year rose 17 per cent to £257m, up from £219m in the previous year.
Revenue also grew to £995m, up two per cent on 2018, when it totalled £979m.
Earnings per share more than doubled in the period, rising 104 per cent to 14.1p.
The association also said that it had grown its membership by 0.2 per cent in the second half of the year, taking its total number of members to 3.22m.
Of these, 80 per cent were retained from the previous 12 months, which the company said reflected the strength of its service proposition.
Why it’s interesting
The firm said that although trading in February and March had been in line with expectations, it had seen more variable levels since lockdown measures kicked in at the end of March.
In response to this, the business said it had implemented swift changes to its operations and cost base to mitigate the ongoing effects during the lockdown.
The AA has cancelled all pay rises and its normal bonus structure, as well as implementing a 15 per cent reduction in pay for all board members.
It has also already suspended its final dividend for this financial year.
The AA said that it expected membership to be down during the first half of the year as the country goes through the lockdown followed by some recovery as restrictions ease.
What the AA said
Simon Breakwell, the firm’s chief executive, said: “The last financial year was a year of strong operational and financial performance for The AA and further delivery on our strategic plan.
“The business continued to perform in line with our expectations through February and March of this year but as we entered April we started to see greater variance as a result of COVID-19.
“We have responded quickly with changes to our operations, both in Roadside and Insurance, and material cost reduction programmes to mitigate the significant uncertainty ahead”.