Auto Trader profit tops £251m on revenue of £369m

Manchester-based Auto Trader Group plc — the UK’s largest digital marketplace for cars — said on Thursday its revenue rose 4% to £368.9 million and profit before tax was up 4% at £251.5 million in the year to March 31, 2020.

The firm said that in the first three weeks of June it has seen “record levels of audience” with “cross platform visits” up 28% on the same period last year.

On its dividend policy, Auto Trader said: “As anticipated, no final dividend proposed given the current uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic (2019: 4.6 pence per share).

“Total dividend for the year is therefore 2.4 pence per share (2019: 6.7 pence per share), being the interim dividend which was paid in January 2020.

“We are hopeful for an early return to our previous capital return policy”

Auto Trader Group CEO Nathan Coe said: “We are pleased with our achievements in the past financial year, however we recognise these have been well and truly surpassed by the events of the past few months.

“Through this time, we have been absolutely committed to supporting our people and customers in the face of the most challenging conditions ever experienced by our company or industry.

“Since the early stages of the pandemic we have endeavoured to act decisively and responsibly to ensure we and our customers could emerge in as strong a position as possible when the crisis passes.

“We’ve been encouraged by the strong initial bounce back in used car demand, and whilst the short-term outlook remains uncertain, we believe the case for moving more of the car buying process online is stronger than ever …”