Peoples profits rise 102% 03 | 11 | 2010

    GLASGOW-BASED Ford giant, Peoples Motor Group, has reported a 102% increase in profits before tax for 2010, up from £1.51 million in 2009 to £3.04m. But boss Brian Gilda has admitted he is cautious of weak consumer confidence which is likely to impact on new car sales into 2012; as a result, the company will turn more to aftersales as a core focus.

    The significant improvement in the company's financial figures has been helped by external factors such as falling interest rates and the scrappage scheme, together with a reduction on Peoples’ administrative costs; this included a 7% cut in headcount through natural wastage and redundancies.

    “Vehicle sales make up 43% of our operating profit," company chairman Gilda, who oversaw a 12-month increase in turnover from £132.9m to £141.2m from his Scottish and Merseyside dealerships, with more than 6% attributed to the scrappage scheme, explained. "I’ve seen consumer confidence paired back in September and the market will continue to be combustible because of the economy.

    “So our focus will increasingly be on used cars and particularly aftersales which represents 57% of operating profit. I want to see it in the 60s, but not simply at the cost of vehicle sales.”

    Gilda, one of the most respected figures in the motoring industry, not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK, said he expected future growth to come from working harder to retain customer loyalty and effective use of its customer database.

    “We’ve invested in systems and people, so our aftersales CRM is as good as it can get," he continued. "We’re also continuously refreshing and extending our database.”

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    Jim McGill

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