Diversified operations pay off for vehicle leasing business as its fleet expands

Tim Buchan

Vehicle leasing, fleet management and vehicle outsourcing business, Zenith, says it has further grown its fleet and won new customers as it issues its financial results for the second quarter and first half of the 2024 financial year.

The Leeds-headquartered company reported a rise in turnover to £386m, up 21.1% year-on-year, (H1 FY23: £318.7m), while gross profit was £70.6m, down 1.3% year-on-year, (H1 FY23: £71.5m).

Zenith’s fleet today comprises more than 170,000 vehicles. Its battery electric vehicle (BEV) fleet continued to grow, comprising 37% of the company’s funded fleet and 41% of its order bank as of 30 September 2023.

The firm’s cash position as of 30 September 2023 was £63.5m, with an available, undrawn revolving credit facility of £65m, giving liquidity of £128.5m.

Tim Buchan, chief executive officer, said: “I am very proud of how Zenith is performing against this tough economic backdrop.

“Our diversified business with operations across commercial, corporate and consumer segments has meant that, during our first half we have been able to deliver more fleet growth, strengthen our cash position and win new customers.

“We continue to adapt and invest in our business for the future as we navigate increasingly difficult macro issues, including a challenging consumer environment resulting in weaker used car prices and reduced utilisation of our trailer rental fleet.

“We remain committed to our mission of eliminating tailpipe emissions by supporting our customers’ transition to electric and other zero emission vehicles.”

Buchan has confirmed his intention to retire as CEO at the end of 2024, and transition to a non-executive director on the Group Holding Board alongside Bridgepoint. He will continue to lead as CEO until a successor is appointed.

To enable the business to maximise its scale and joint operations, the corporate and consumer divisions will be brought together and led by Ian Hughes, CEO of the corporate division.

Andrew Kirby, currently acting CEO of the consumer division and CEO of the group’s rental business has decided to leave the business next year to take up a new leadership role outside of the automotive industry.