Motorpoint has reported that business at its 13 used car supermarkets has been “comfortably ahead” of 2019 in the period since the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions were eased on June 1.
In a trading update published via the London Stock Exchange this morning (August 24) the chairman of the UK’s largest independent car retail group by turnover, Mark Morris, said that its board had been “encouraged by this momentum”.
And while the business announced the resignation of its current chief financial officer, James Gilmour, ahead of its AGM today, Motorpoint chief executive Mark Carpenter said that the outlook for the remainder of 2020 included the delivery of ongoing market share gains.
Carpenter said: “Our trading and operational performance since the reopening of our retail estate has been encouraging, with the team back to their best across the business.
“Whilst there is considerable uncertainty around the pandemic’s future impact on trade, I am confident that our market leading omni-channel proposition is strong and will continue to deliver market share gains.”
Last month AM reported that Motorpoint was poised for further growth having secured properties for its 14th and 15th dealerships, in Glasgow and Stockton-on-Tees.
However, news of the developments came as the business reported that its annual revenues had dropped 3.8% to £1.02 billion during the 12 months to March 31 due to sites being closed as a result of COVID-19, and pre-tax profit fell 15.3% to £18.8 million.
In today’s trading update, which covers a 20-week period to August 21, Morris said: “Over the last 11 weeks, the period which the group’s retail sites have been fully reopened, the board has seen its key operational and trading metrics comfortably ahead of the equivalent period last year.
“The board has been encouraged by this momentum, which has been achieved across the group’s combined customer channels including its 13 retail sites, online channel and its Home Delivery proposition. Supply of stock and margin remains strong.”
Morris added that it remains too early to reinstate guidance regarding the businesses performance in light of the significant uncertainty which remains as a result of the pandemic and the sustainability of any recovery in consumer confidence.
But he added: “The Board believes that Motorpoint is very well positioned to build on the opportunities in the year ahead.”
Motorpoint expects to issue its half-year trading update on October 8.
The search is now on for a successor to CFO Gilmour, who joined from a position as finance director at Tesco in 2015 and was instrumental in preparing for the IPO in 2016.
Motorpoint’s statement said that he has succeeded in developing “a strong team”, adding that he “feels that he is leaving Motorpoint in the best possible shape to continue on its growth journey”.
Thanking Gilmour for his contribution to the business, Carpenter said: “James helped to prepare the Group for and deliver its successful IPO and leaves behind a strong finance team and business going from strength to strength.
“It has been a pleasure to work alongside James and I wish him the very best with his future endeavours.”