Firm's profits fall
Vardy aims to sell half of vehicles online by 2023
Peter Vardy: rapidly-changing environment
Car dealership Peter Vardy continued to invest in its franchises despite posting a fall in annual profit and said it intends to sell half of its vehicles online by 2023.
The group aims to take the lead in digital innovation and transformation, with heavy investment in e-commerce sales and aftersales products.
The company has set a target of 60% of all service bookings coming through online channels in the same year.
Chief executive Peter Vardy said: “We are manoeuvring to be at the forefront of the rapidly-changing environment within the motor trade,” Peter said. “We have continued to build on 2018’s success during the current financial year, putting us in a strong position to achieve our objectives.”
The retailer – which holds franchises for BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche and Vauxhall as well as two Peter Vardy CarStores in Glasgow and Dundee – reported pre-tax profit for the year of £5.5m against £6.3m in the previous year.
There was a 4.4% increase in used car sales for the year. Aftersales revenues also held up, leading to a 4% rise in group turnover to £468m.
Despite difficult market conditions, gross profit margins remained in line with the previous year at 12.7%.
Mr Vardy said the 2018 figures illustrate the company’s resilience, with the ability to maintain a strong performance amid difficult trading conditions for the industry as a whole. This allowed the group to continue its programme of investment with the opening of its second Porsche showroom in Perth, giving Peter Vardy exclusive coverage in the north of Scotland.
“Our focus heading into 2018 was on two areas – driving used vehicle performance and maximising aftersales opportunities – and I am pleased to report positive results on both fronts,” he said.
“We are continuing to pursue our six-point strategy for growth, and are actively seeking expansion in both the physical and digital markets. We were working on our 2030 vision and strategy plans in 2018.”
Set up as a single dealership in Perth in 2006, Peter Vardy Group has grown to 14 across Scotland employing more than 800 people.