Car dealer Pendragon into profit as cost cuts cushion pandemic blow

Car dealership Pendragon said cost cuts helped it report a profit for 2020, compared with a loss a year earlier, despite a plunge in sales due to pandemic-driven lockdowns.

Evans Halshaw Car Store in Shrewsbury
Evans Halshaw Car Store in Shrewsbury

The group, which includes the Evans Halshaw, Stratstone and Car Store chains, said underlying pre-tax profit came in at £8.2 million pounds for the 12 months ended December 31, compared with a loss of £16.4 million pounds a year ago.

Revenue fell by more than a third to £2.92 billion pounds.

The firm attributed its recovery to online sales, as it delivered over 20,000 vehicles to customers in the first two months of 2021 despite a fresh national lockdown.

Covid news:

Pendragon has Evans Halshaw dealerships in Shrewsbury, Stourbridge, Walsall, Worfield and Wolverhampton, and also a Stratstone site in Wolverhampton.

CEO Bill Berman said: "It has been a difficult year for many people and I’d like to thank all of our team who have worked exceptionally hard throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Their resilience and dedication meant we were able to deliver a solid performance in what has been a particularly challenging period for the car retail industry.

"We took early and decisive action to ensure the safety of our associates and our customers and protect the group’s financial position.

"We also accelerated the development of our digital capabilities and introduced both click and collect and home delivery options for our customers.

"These actions, coupled with the positive progress made against our new strategy, provide us with a strong platform for the future and the results for this period show there is good momentum in the business, despite the external pressures.

"We are confident the improvements made to our business model over the past year leave us well positioned to navigate this period and accelerate our strategy during the course of the year and beyond.”

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