INDEPENDENT Ford retailer Peoples has reported a significant rise in turnover and says financial performance across the business – particularly in aftersales – has “exceeded expectations”.
Turnover increased to £306.8m (up 11.3% on the previous year).
While the company posted a pre-tax profit of £7.67m, down slightly on last year’s record- breaking £8.48m, it celebrated a 2.5% return on sales, representing an excellent performance set against industry competitors.
New car sales were up 21%, used car sales up 11% and aftersales profits soared by 31%. Commercial vehicle sales were down 17 per cent due to an industry-wide shortage.
Brian Gilda, Chairman of Peoples, said: “We reflect on these results with delight. Despite having come through a period of commercial vehicle supply constraints which adversely affected volumes across the sector, we exceeded our operational benchmarks and financial targets.
“Our increase in new and used personal vehicle sales positively impacted our turnover and our huge upturn in aftersales is testament to consumer confidence in our brand and our experts. They know their cars are in good hands with our erudite, qualified technicians, and we know if we look after our customers well they will continue to come back to our service department.
“The driving force behind the financial year’s successes is the Operational Board which we established in 2022, allowing us to make quick and smart decisions on our current position and future strategy, and we are continually investing in capital and infrastructure projects.”
The Operational Board of industry experts is led by senior operational director Nicola Gilda, a proven leader with a wealth of automotive industry experience. The fresh insights brought by Nicola and the board have been instrumental in guiding the company’s strategic direction.
Key developments have included investment in game-changing business analytics technology allowing Peoples to make more data-driven decisions based on real-time insights from across every department.
Brian Gilda added: “It is more important than ever to have an agile, expert board to shape our future direction and shift our business priorities.
“We are entering a period of change in the coming years as the model lineup becomes increasingly more electric, our recent Electric Vehicle Approved accreditation across all our dealerships demonstrates our unwavering commitment to staying at the forefront of the auto industry’s transformation to EVs.
“We also need to ensure our franchised dealer network is aligned with our view of the future direction of the UK market, and for that reason we are in exploratory talks with a number of overseas manufacturer partners, including potential partners in China, who are looking to import to the UK.”
Peoples Group was founded in 1983 and has six dealerships – three in central Scotland in Edinburgh, Falkirk and Livingston and three in Liverpool.