Leeds-based Zenith delivers increase in half year turnover against tough economic backdrop
Headquartered at the Kirkstall Forge development in Leeds, the company’s 1,300 employees manage a fleet of more than 170,000 vehicles. Zenith, which has published its financial results for the second quarter and first half of the 2024 financial year, also revealed that Tim Buchan has announced his intention to retire as the company’s CEO at the end of 2024. He will transition to a non-executive director role on the group holding board alongside Bridgepoint, which acquired Zenith in 2017.
In a statement, Zenith said: “ Tim will continue to lead as CEO until a successor is appointed. To enable the business to maximise its scale and joint operations, the corporate and consumer divisions will be brought together and led by Ian Hughes, CEO of the corporate division. We will continue to report the financial performance of these units separately.”
Andrew Kirby, currently acting CEO of the consumer division and CEO of the rental business has decided to leave the business next year to take up a new leadership role outside of the automotive industry.
Zenith’s half year turnover was £386m, an increase of 21.1 per cent year on year when compared with the first half of the previous year, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation and depreciation) was £34.0m, a 13 per cent reduction year on year.
Mr Buchan, commented: “I am very proud of how Zenith is performing against this tough economic backdrop. Our diversified business with operations across commercial, corporate and consumer segments has meant that, during our first half we have been able to deliver more fleet growth, strengthen our cash position and win new customers.
"Our fleet today stands at more than 170,000 vehicles. It is also reassuring to see the SMMT (The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders) forecasting an increasing growth rate in registrations for the next two years.
“We continue to adapt and invest in our business for the future as we navigate increasingly difficult macro issues, including a challenging consumer environment resulting in weaker used car prices and reduced utilisation of our trailer rental fleet.
“We remain committed to our mission of eliminating tailpipe emissions by supporting our customers’ transition to electric and other zero emission vehicles. We are continuing to invest in our single asset management platform, continuing our focus on our ESG (Environmental, social and governance) 10 initiatives and consistently striving to improve customer outcomes.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our employees for their hard work, dedication and commitment and our customers and partners for their continued support and confidence in Zenith.”
Mr Buchan said Zenith felt “incredibly privileged” to be based at the Kirkstall Forge development adding: “We are here for the long term and as our fleet grows that will create more jobs.”