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Profits tank at car dealership as Brexit squeezes margins

Pertwee & Back Limited, Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth, has said it is having a difficult year.  Picture: James Bass

Pertwee & Back Limited, Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth, has said it is having a difficult year. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

Profits have plummeted at one of the county's largest car dealerships, swinging from making nearly £600,000 in 2017 to a loss of £92,000 in 2018.

Pertwee & Back Limited, Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth.

Picture: James BassPertwee & Back Limited, Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Despite this the top-paid director was awarded an inflation-busting pay hike bringing their salary packet to more than £145,000.

Pertwee and Back is a Ford dealership in Great Yarmouth, employing 37 people selling new and used cars.

According to recently published company accounts, the company faced a "challenging year" in 2018.

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However the business is not out of the woods yet stating that "the 2019 financial year continues to be challenging".

A spokesman for the company said that Brexit negotiations have played a key part in the disruption of cash flow.

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The spokesman said: "Retail sales of new and used vehicles have been satisfactory but impending changes to the parts business have introduced some uncertainties."

The US car-maker manufacturers most of its parts in the States with a smaller percentage made in Germany.

Turnover at Pertwee and Back has dropped by 44% from £33.7m to £19m - but the company had expected this.

"This is a consequence of the directors' decision taken to reduce the less profitable fleet business," explained the report.

A total income fall of a £2.3m profit in 2017 to a loss of £151,000 in 2018 is mitigated by the fact that the 2017 figure was unexpectedly boosted by unrealised revaluation of assets worth £1.8m.

And despite these changing fortunes on the balance sheet, the company is still in a healthy position to continue trading.

In terms of assets, the company has £3.1m in its investment portfolio, properties, and tangible assets such as equipment.

On top of this, it has around £3.2m in stocks and £1.4m in the bank.

Even if all its creditors wanted to cash in their debts in the next 12 months - totalling £.3.3m, the firm would still have net current assets worth a total of £4.8m.

"The company remains in a strong position. The directors consider the company is well positioned due to the high quality of stocks held, keen pricing strategies and good customer relationships," concluded the board.

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