Vertu Motors hunts acquisitions

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CAR dealer Vertu Motors yesterday confirmed that it will consider further acquisitions to boost its presence in the Yorkshire market.

Robert Forrester, the company’s chief executive, said that Vertu was still under-represented in some of Yorkshire’s major cities.

In the year ending February 28, the company’s revenue rose 33.8 per cent to £1.7bn, with like-for-like revenues up 13.1 per cent. Profit before tax rose 259.1 per cent to £15.8m from £4.4m. The number of outlets increased to 108, from 96 last year, with 14 new outlets acquired or opened in the year.

Mr Forrester said: “This has been a transformational year for the group, during which we have expanded significantly and sustainably, gained our first major premium franchise and developed scaled operations with both Land Rover and Volkswagen, and delivered record profits at every level. This growth has been driven by both like-for-like growth from our core business and acquisition. The board looks to the future with confidence.

“The new and used car markets remain strong with our core business growing. We have a strong pipeline of acquisition opportunities and the financial firepower to execute them and we have further strengthened management in the year to allow the expansion to continue.”

The group has successfully integrated the Albert Farnell Land Rover business it bought last June.

Farnell is a long-established Land Rover dealership with sites in Leeds, Bradford and Guiseley. Earlier this year, it bought two sales outlets in Sheffield from Harratts of Wakefield for £2.4m and it is on the hunt for more acquisitions in the area.