Vertu Motors enjoys strong margins amid shortages

Gateshead-based Vertu Motors plc said on Wednesday that constrained supply of new vehicles in the UK has continued due to dislocation in global supply chains — meaning that Vertu’s margins in both the new retail and fleet channels have remained strong.

Vertu Motors said it “continues to evaluate and execute” acquisition opportunities.

In an AGM trading update, Vertu Motors said: “The group has also seen supply constraints continue in used cars.

“This has had two effects.

“Firstly, combined with the comparative period reflecting post lockdown pent-up demand, it has resulted in the group seeing an expected significant decline in like-for-like used car volumes in May compared to the previous year.

“Secondly, the group has been able to maintain strong retention of gross profit on used cars, with per unit profit in May at above prior year levels, as used car prices stabilised.

“The group’s high-margin aftersales departments benefited from additional working days in May 2022, which drove revenues above prior levels.

“The group continues to make progress in its parts departments and accident repair centres.

“The market outlook remains unclear due to uncertainty of consumer demand and vehicle supply although new vehicle supply is anticipated to improve gradually in the months ahead.

“The group has had a strong start to the financial year but it is premature at this stage to indicate any changes to market expectations of the full year trading profits.

“Management remains focused on the delivery of operational excellence around cost, conversion and customer experience.

“In addition, the group continues to evaluate and execute acquisition opportunities as it seeks to deliver its core strategic objective of growth.”

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