Pendragon Hits Critics With £35.1M Half Year Profit

Pendragon has been through rough times in recent years, but it has hit back at critics with a ‘steady as she goes’ first-half of the financial year, recording an underlying pre-tax profit of £35.1m.  As one of the UK’s largest dealer groups, Pendragon has suffered the humiliation of major shareholder Anders Hedin criticising CEO Bill Berman in an open letter; the cutting of up to 1800 jobs; 2019 Pendragon saw CEO Mark Herbert quit after only three months in the job. The list of woe goes on.

But in Q1&2 of 2021 Pendragon has shown it is coming out of the gloom. 

Improvements in the group’s digital propositions are said to enabled Pendragon to come back strongly.   It also out-performed the new and used car markets in Q2.

CEO Bill Berman said: “We exceeded our initial expectations for the half and delivered an underlying profit before tax of £35.1m.

“While we acknowledge the positive market tailwinds, much of this progress has been underpinned by our new strategy, which has resulted in significant improvements to the Group’s digital capabilities and cost savings associated with the restructure of our store estate and the improved efficiency of our operating model. The work undertaken to advance our online channels last year meant more than 40,000 vehicles were delivered to customers during the lock-down period alone.”

This is a golden lesson to other major groups. We all thought that Pendragon was on a slippery slope, but it has gathered itself up and put together a well-thought-out strategy for growth.