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Dick Lovett overcomes JLR car dealership fire to deliver record financials

Dick Lovett overcame a fire at its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) dealership, COVID-19 lockdown and the global car supply slowdown to deliver record financial results in 2021.

The Swindon-based AM100 car retail group’s turnover exceeded £650 million mark for the first time, rising 16.5% to £659.9m (2020: £566.2m) as its pre-tax profits climbed 66%, from £14.7m to £24.4m in the 12-month period to December 31, 2021.

The luxury-leaning car dealer group, which is a franchisee for Maserati, BMW, Ferrari, Porsche, Mini, Aston Martin and JLR said almost every brand in the group enjoyed a record profit performance.

A results statement published by the Dick Lovett board of directors said: “Despite the record levels of performance 2021 still saw a significant number of challenges with Coronavirus still having an impact on showroom closures at the start of the year.

“New car deliveries continued to be a challenge all year due to semiconductor shortages and a fire in the JLR showroom at Melksham resulted in this being closed for refurbishment for a significant part of the year.”

AM reported in March last year how firefighters were called to the Dick Lovett JLR dealership after staff reportedly spotted smoke emerging from a Land Rover Defender 4×4.

However, the board’s statement revealed that the strong performance that emerged from a challenging period of trading in 2021 had left the business in a strong position, stating: “The strong trading performance has allowed the company to not only repay all outstanding loans in 2021 but maintain a positive cash balance all year and see the balance sheet grow to £117.6m net assets.”

The group also commenced dealership developments in the period, making a start to the construction of its new BMW and Mini dealership at Melksham, ahead of an expected completion of Q3 this year.

The group said that completion of the new BMW and Mini facility would be followed by “a major refurbishment and a new-build programme in 2023.”

A multi-award-winning news journalist, Tom is news and features editor for Bauer Media’s AM brand. His role demands he keep abreast of all industry and business news to provide coverage of the franchised automotive retail sector and the wider automotive industry, while assisting in the management of the magazine’s production and AM events.

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