"The UK's largest automotive online retailer increases earnings by 19% and continues to deliver against its strategy."
- Underlying profit before tax up £9.9 million (+16.4%), from £60.2 million to £70.1 million.
- Strong operating leverage continues, with gross profit up 5.0% and underlying operating profit up 10.6%.
- Underlying earnings per share up 0.6p (+19.4%), from 3.1p to 3.7p.
- Refinancing agreed on improved terms.
- Final dividend proposed of 0.7p per share, reflecting profit progression, an increase of 44.4% on the full year dividend.
- The Group's clear strategy continues to deliver consistent year on year profit growth.
- Our strategy is focused on our four 'pillars' of Choice, Value, Service and Convenience supported by our people.
- Launched 'Move Me Closer', the UK's first click and collect service, in February 2015.
- Encouraging progress from our 'Sell Your Car' service, providing value to the consumer and additional used vehicle supply to the business.
- Enhanced architectures of websites for Stratstone.com, Evanshalshaw.com, Quickco.co.uk and Pendragonvehiclemanagement.co.uk.
- Web visits to Evanshalshaw.com and Stratstone.com increased by 5.4 million (+35.5%), from 15.2 million to 20.6 million.
- Nine retail points added as we complement our online offering with a national footprint.
- Another record breaking year in used vehicles with like for like gross profit up £15.0 million (+10.9%).
- Market tailwinds and our initiatives have led to like for like aftersales gross profit increasing by £9.7 million (+5.4%).
- New vehicle market growth, as predicted, is beginning to ease with like for like gross profit increasing by £17.5 million (+12.1%).
- During the year we invested £53.1 million in our retail facilities.
- Our underlying costs to gross profit ratio has improved from 82.8% to 81.7%.
- Underlying operating margin maintained at 2.3%.
Trevor Finn, Chief Executive, commented:
"We achieved strong growth and set new records as we continue to deliver our winning strategy of offering Choice, Value, Service and Convenience to our customers. We are particularly pleased with our Evanshalshaw.com performance, where like for like used vehicle gross profit improved by over 20 percent. This outstanding performance is due to our focused strategy, strong processes and the evolution of our brands, helped by the launch of 'Move Me Closer' and 'Sell Your Car'. We are looking forward to growing the business further from organic activity and selective acquisitions. We continued to benefit from new car products, particularly in the Stratstone.com vehicle ranges. We thank our people for being committed to the evolution of the Group and for helping deliver another outstanding set of results. Our prospects for 2016 are in line with current expectations."
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