Car retailer bemoans ‘the most difficult year in our history’

Vehicle retailer Motorpoint Group has revealed a big drop in sales it what its chief executive has described as “the most difficult in our history”.

Mark Carpenter blamed “multiple negative headwinds” including rising borrowing costs, subdued customer demand, lower inventories and deflation.

Revenues at the Derby-headquartered group were down 25% to £1.1bn, resulting in a £10m pre-tax loss after a breakeven result the previous year. It had issued a profit warning in January, reflecting the challenges it faced.

Carpenter pointed to a better performance in the final quarter of last year and in the opening weeks of the new financial year.

He said: “Following the rightsizing exercise of FY24, we now have a lean, technology-enabled business. I am very confident in our ability to scale profitability and cash generation as the market improves, which will allow us to invest further in growth.”

Motorpoint’s cost saving measures, which included cutting 10% of its workforce last July, were designed to save around £3m a year. It employed 710 people at the end of March, which was 240 fewer than in spring 2022.

It expects conditions to ease, as it sees signs that customer sentiment is improving. “Double-digit growth” in retail sales volumes has resulted in both April and May being profitable.

Motorpoint said: “As performance improves we look forward to resetting and re-energising our strategic goals, including further new store opportunities, against our long term ambition to lead the UK used car market.”

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