Nigel Stein

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

Nigel Stein

Dear Shareholders and all of our stakeholders,

When writing last year, I referred to the impact coronavirus was having on our business in Asia. Its subsequent evolution into a global pandemic dramatically increased that impact with most of Inchcape’s businesses around the world experiencing periods of compulsory shutdown and restricted operations. The prompt actions taken across the Group, prioritising the safety of employees and customers, maintaining high levels of customer service, reducing costs and maximising cash flow, proved very successful in taking us through the crisis and are a tribute to the hard work of the whole Inchcape team. I congratulate them and thank them greatly for their enormous efforts in 2020.

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

Nigel Stein

Nigel Stein

Chariman

Dear Shareholders and all of our stakeholders,

When writing last year, I referred to the impact coronavirus was having on our business in Asia. Its subsequent evolution into a global pandemic dramatically increased that impact with most of Inchcape’s businesses around the world experiencing periods of compulsory shutdown and restricted operations. The prompt actions taken across the Group, prioritising the safety of employees and customers, maintaining high levels of customer service, reducing costs and maximising cash flow, proved very successful in taking us through the crisis and are a tribute to the hard work of the whole Inchcape team. I congratulate them and thank them greatly for their enormous efforts in 2020.

Performance

Against the background of sharply reduced automotive markets, the Group’s financial performance for the year was very satisfactory, with profit before tax (before exceptionals)1 of £129m and free cash flow1 of £177m. Almost all of this came from the performance in the second half of the year, once the initial shockwave of COVID-19 had subsided. During the early, highly uncertain period, when many operations were completely closed, the Group took short-term protective actions to reduce costs and secure liquidity, including utilising to a degree various government sponsored furlough schemes in the UK, Australia and Singapore and securing a temporary borrowing facility under the UK CCFF programme. The Board of Directors and senior management all agreed to a voluntary 20% reduction in their fees or salaries.

Shareholders were also impacted by the withdrawal of the recommended dividend payable in June 2020 and cancellation of the £150m share buyback programme then underway as precautionary moves to protect the Group’s liquidity.

By the end of June, as the first wave subsided, the Group quickly established a ‘new normal’ way of operating, with no further utilisation of government support schemes. Staff temporarily laid off due to their business being closed were from then on entirely at Inchcape’s cost. And where lower levels of demand unfortunately made it necessary, a number of permanent headcount reductions were made. The precautionary £100m drawn down under the CCFF scheme was repaid; other suspended activities resumed with Executive Directors’ and management salaries reverting to former levels.

1. APM (alternative performance measure), see page 176-177 of annual report.

Strategic progress

In spite of the pandemic, the Group took some important steps forward with its strategy. This included the acquisition of the Daimler Distribution businesses in Colombia and El Salvador which help build our relationship with that important OEM. We also added to our MINI and Jaguar Land Rover distributorships as well as selling a number of dealerships in the UK as part of building a better, stronger UK business.

As announced last May, Duncan Tait took over as CEO in July 2020, bringing considerable experience of the Technology sector, which is of increasing importance to Inchcape’s future. His report, which follows this, gives more details of our strategic evolution.

The Board keeps a close eye on the major disruptive trends affecting the global automotive industry and has considered what impact the pandemic may have on them. Shared ownership, autonomous vehicles and fully connected cars still lie some way ahead, but electrification of the drivetrain has accelerated. The pace of electrification is still significantly driven by government legislation, incentives and support for investment in the necessary charging infrastructure. Many countries are now bringing forward their target dates for achieving the milestones on the path to zero emissions as a direct response to climate change and recent changes in US government policy will undoubtedly provide a further boost towards electrification globally.

Inchcape is confident that our partnership with advanced technology OEMs puts us in a good position to both respond to and take advantage of the accelerating pace of electrification. We continue to watch developments closely and shape our strategy accordingly.

Board

As mentioned above, we were delighted to appoint Duncan Tait as our new CEO from 1 July 2020 succeeding Stefan Bomhard, who left Inchcape to take up a position elsewhere. Alex Jensen was appointed in January 2020 as stated in last year’s Annual Report and Rachel Empey recently announced her intention to stand down in April 2021 due to other commitments. Rachel has made a strong contribution to our Board over the last five years for which we thank her. We have commenced a process to seek a suitable replacement.

Till Vestring has completed nine years on the Board and ordinarily would stand down at the forthcoming AGM. We highly value having a Board member based in Asia, our largest market, and are actively seeking an Asia-based replacement. With the current COVID travel restrictions, Till has kindly agreed to extend his tenure until we have successfully appointed and inducted his replacement onto the Board.

The various unexpected activities of 2020 made for a busy year for the Board. I would like to express my gratitude to all my fellow Board members for their commitment and support over the last 12 months.

Dividends and returns to shareholders

The Board decided as a precautionary measure not to pay dividends during 2020 and to cancel the share buyback programme already underway. The subsequent financial performance and in particular the excellent work on liquidity led by our CFO, Gijsbert de Zoeten, have left our already strong balance sheet in an even better position. Having carefully considered the situation from a range of stakeholder perspectives, the Board has decided on this occasion to recommend a dividend of 6.9 pence per share payable in June 2021 (2020 £Nil).

Looking ahead

At the time of writing, it seems likely that COVID-19 will be with us for some considerable time longer, with all that implies. But we remain highly confident in the Group’s ability to maintain its strong operating capability through the months ahead, whilst also maintaining focus on our strategic progress.

I would end by again thanking the whole Inchcape team across the 34 countries in which we operate for their extraordinary efforts in this extremely difficult year. You should be extremely proud of what you accomplished. Thank you!

S172 statement

The Directors have exercised their duties under the Companies Act 2006 throughout the year, including under Section 172, the duty to promote the success of the Company whilst having regard for the factors in 172(1)(a) to (f). These and other factors are taken into consideration by the Directors when making decisions in their role as the Board of Inchcape plc.

The factors listed under S172 are integral to most of the significant decisions taken during the year. The Board is satisfied that the information provided by management and others via reporting, performance updates, key performance measures, independent advice and industry and economic updates is of appropriate quality to allow the Board to have due regard for each of the factors.

Case studies demonstrating how the Directors have discharged their duties under S172 are given on page 60. Stakeholder engagement is given on pages 18 to 19. Additional information on areas which impact stakeholders can be found on:

S172 factor Additional information
Consequences of decisions in the long term Strategy
Capital allocation
Risk
Interest of Company’s employees Stakeholder engagement
CSR Report
Directors’ Report
Foster Company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others Stakeholder engagement
Strategic Report
Business model and value chain
Impact of operations on community and the environment Stakeholder engagement
CSR Report
Non-financial information statement
High standards of business conduct Non-financial information statement
Acting fairly between members Directors’ Report
Nigel Stein
Nigel Stein Chairman

our value chain

Full spectrum Distribution

OEM partnerships

Long-standing partner relationships

Inchcape has long-standing partnerships with the world’s leading automotive groups, with a core focus on manufacturers of premium and volume passenger vehicles. In select markets we also represent commercial and agricultural vehicles and machinery as well as emergent passenger vehicle brands.
  • Seven Core Partnerships
    • 53 YEARS
    • 50 YEARS
    • 43 YEARS
    • 33 YEARS
    • 32 YEARS
    • 31 YEARS
    • 28 YEARS

We have long-standing relationships with each of our seven core OEM partners, the majority of which are built around exclusive Distribution contracts in multiple markets.

In select markets we also represent commercial and agricultural vehicles and machinery as well as emergent passenger vehicle brands.

The OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) with which Inchcape partners are some of the foremost drivers of technological innovation in the automotive industry, from advances in hybrid and battery electric drivetrains to future mobility solutions.

Close

Toyota

Our partnership with Toyota is the longest in our portfolio, with 53 years of representation as a distributor in geographies that reach from South East Asia to East Africa and from Europe to the Americas. Our partnership with TMC includes all variations of our business model – Distribution with exclusive Retail, such as in Hong Kong and Singapore; Distribution with a managed Retail network, such as Greece; and Retail only, such as our operations in the UK. The partnership also extends to both passenger and commercial vehicles, with which segment we have expanded more recently in South America.

Toyota Motor Corporation

DISTRIBUTION

Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Macau, North Macedonia, Romania, Saipan, Singapore


Chile & Colombia (Hino only)

RETAIL

Russia, UK

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JAGUAR LAND ROVER

Inchcape and Jaguar Land Rover’s partnership is one of very long standing, reaching back around 50 years in total. We have continued our JLR growth story right up to the present day, with Distribution contracts awarded for Thailand in 2016, Colombia and Kenya in 2018, and in 2020 we were awarded our first Distribution contract in Poland with JLR. We now represent Jaguar and Land Rover as either a distributor or retailer in 12 markets on three continents.

Jaguar Land Rover

DISTRIBUTION

Colombia, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Latvia, Lithuania, Kenya, Macau, Poland, Thailand

RETAIL

Russia, UK

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SUZUKI

We have a long-standing partnership with Suzuki of over 40 years, the majority of that time being in Singapore. We significantly expanded this relationship in 2018 through acquisition and the awarding of Distribution contracts in Costa Rica and Panama. This expansion added to our established South America platform with our first move into Central America and the addition of two brand new markets to our global portfolio.

Suzuki

DISTRIBUTION

Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, Singapore

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DAIMLER

In 2019 we signed our first ever Distribution contracts with Daimler for both passenger and commercial vehicles in Uruguay and Ecuador, followed swiftly by a further agreement in January 2020 to become the distributor for Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles in Colombia. During 2020 we continued this consolidation of representation with expansion with the brand into El Salvador.

Daimler

DISTRIBUTION

Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Uruguay

RETAIL

UK

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VW Group

Inchcape has a retail-only partnership with VW Group and represents the core VW and Audi brands as well as the performance marque Porsche. Our VW Group relationship extends to over 30 years and we are present today as a Retail operator in the UK and Russia.

VW Group

Retail

UK, Russia

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BMW GROUP

Our partnership with BMW Group is over 30 years strong and has been a key focus for consolidated growth, especially in the Baltic region where we now represent the brand in all three countries: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In 2020 we were awarded the Distribution contracts for MINI in Chile and for MINI and BMW Motorrad (the brand’s motorcycle division) in Peru, consolidating our position in those markets. As well as holding Distribution contracts in South America, we also have significant operations of BMW Group’s brands in our Retail-only markets: UK, Poland and Russia.

BMW Group

DISTRIBUTION

Chile, Estonia, Guam, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Peru

RETAIL

Poland, Russia, UK

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SUBARU

Inchcape’s Distribution partnership with Subaru is one of the most important in our portfolio and an example of the close collaboration between the Group and our brand partners. We distribute and operate the brand in Australia, maintaining Subaru’s highest share globally in that market. Subaru was the OEM brand central to our first significant expansion in South America in 2016 which has helped to create a platform for further growth in the region.

Subaru Corporation

DISTRIBUTION

Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, New Zealand, Peru

CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REVIEW

Duncan Tait

I am delighted to present my first review since succeeding to the Group CEO role in July 2020. My tenure began in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a time of significant challenge for the Group, our industry and the world at large, but I am pleased to confirm that I inherited a strong and sustainable business. This is reflected in our full-year results which, despite dynamic market conditions, were ahead of our recently revised expectations.

Duncan Tait

CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REVIEW

Duncan Tait

Group Chief Executive

I am delighted to present my first review since succeeding to the Group CEO role in July 2020. My tenure began in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a time of significant challenge for the Group, our industry and the world at large, but I am pleased to confirm that I inherited a strong and sustainable business. This is reflected in our full-year results which, despite dynamic market conditions, were ahead of our recently revised expectations.

Duncan Tait

Before reviewing our performance in 2020 and setting out my thinking for the future direction of the business, I want to first pay tribute to my colleagues. Our performance in extremely testing times is down to their dedication and efforts. I could not be prouder to work with such talented people, who ensured that the business navigated the complexities of the global pandemic. As well as looking after our business, colleagues have delivered for their local communities, contributing crisis support by offering expertise and deploying resources at the peak of the pandemic.

The characteristics that attracted me to join Inchcape earlier in the year have only been reinforced by what I have seen. Our underlying strength is borne of a combination of factors including the diversity of our global markets, long-standing partnerships with many of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers, unique business model, investment proposition and diverse and talented people.

These factors have enabled the business to deliver what I think is an outstanding result despite the challenges we faced. If we can perform like this under such challenging circumstances, we should be excited about what we can do in a more stable environment.

Performance

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic had a material impact on trading for a substantial period of the year, as markets experienced government mandated lockdowns. Despite the initial disruption however, we saw an improving trend towards the end of the second quarter when some markets were able to partially reopen. The dynamism of the situation meant there was a balance of exposure to restrictions: whereas several of our operations in Latin America, for example, saw the most severe lockdowns, markets in Europe were able to remain partially open for servicing, and Hong Kong remained open and trading throughout the period.

From the beginning of the pandemic, we had a dedicated ‘taskforce’ to manage the risks we faced and report on our response. Business continuity measures were introduced and robust health and safety protocols put in place to ensure the protection of our customers and our people. Social distancing measures and PPE provision have helped to minimise the risk of exposure.

The situation was dynamic throughout 2020, and has continued to cause some disruption at the start of 2021 but I believe we are well prepared both from operational and liquidity standpoints.

I am delighted with the way in which our teams worked to find solutions to maintain a route to market for our OEMs, adapting practices to enable us to continue to serve our customers notably through accelerating rollout of ’click and collect’, online and omni-channel services.

Revenues of £6.8bn for the year compare to £9.4bn in 2019, while we delivered profit before tax and exceptional items of £129m (vs £326m in 2019), the majority of which was generated in the second half. Cash management was exceptional throughout the year, but particularly shone through in the second half, clearly demonstrating the highly cash-generative nature of our business model.

The headline numbers mask the significant progress the Group made in 2020 including the successful execution of the largest cost-saving programme in our history, and a further rationalising of our retail footprint through selective divestment.

While 2020 will always be associated with COVID-19, a number of our markets were also significantly impacted by social unrest. For those within Inchcape it will be remembered as a year our business showcased its resilience, and took prompt, but tough, actions to make our platform leaner and fit for Distribution-focused growth.

Business development

I am pleased to report that, despite the considerable challenges presented by the pandemic, the Group continued to make good strategic progress on several fronts: expanding our portfolio representation for key OEM partners; rationalising our retail footprint in non-Distribution markets; further implementing new digital capability; and introducing business optimisation processes in sales and operations planning.

We expanded our representation of Daimler in the Americas during the year, completing the acquisition of Daimler Colombia and becoming, within the space of a few months, the second largest Daimler distributor in Latin America. This important build to the Daimler platform was then further enhanced with the addition of the contract for El Salvador later in the year. Towards the end of 2020, we also secured the distribution rights for MINI in Chile and both MINI and BMW Motorrad in Peru which we began operating in December. Central and South America has been the key focus for our growth strategy and since 2016 we have progressed from representing one brand in two markets to our position at the end of 2020 in nine markets and a strong portfolio of premium, volume, commercial and electric vehicle (EV) focused brands.

We have also developed our position in Europe, agreeing a Distribution joint venture with Jaguar Land Rover in Poland, one of the largest available markets in the region. This consolidates our representation of the brand across territories in northern Europe, including all three Baltic states, and brings Poland into the Distribution segment where previously we had a Retail-only position in the market.

I am pleased to report that several key initiatives have seen significant developments over the year, particularly as we seek to build the most efficient and cost-effective Distribution platform for our automotive partners, one that will respond to the changing priorities of consumers and the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

Our focus is on optimising our business, creating an environment in which data-driven decision-making streamlines our processes and empowers our people by reducing laborious administrative tasks. Automating processes in Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) enables more accurate stock forecasting so that we can manage our inventory much more efficiently. This is a model which combines faster, digitalised processes with human experience and expertise to create optimal stock levels and therefore also positively affecting working capital management, inventory obsolescence, storage costs and supporting gross margins.

Similarly, our Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) programme combines the skills and capabilities of our people with integrated digital support platforms to provide our customers with an improved experience. With customer interactions increasingly taking place online further into the purchase process (even as far as ‘click and collect’), our omni-channel platform allows customers to build the vehicle access experience that they want. Having initiated the programme in Melbourne, Australia, in the past year we have begun rolling out to our operations in South America, with staggered implementation planned in other markets.

Strategic priorities

The Ignite strategy has laid strong foundations for the Group and catalysed a shift towards the more attractive Distribution segment. As we embark on the next phase of the Group’s journey, Distribution remains at the core of the business. In setting the future direction we have reflected on the structural changes taking place across the automotive industry, and how these provide opportunity across our core competencies as a distributor of mobility services in fast-growing markets.

We concluded that an ambitious Inchcape could benefit significantly from and thrive in this new world, one where we can both leverage our existing Distribution infrastructure and drive expansion across new markets and competencies.

Our new strategy will focus on two key growth pillars:

1. Distribution Excellence; and

2. Vehicle Lifecycle Services

In ‘Distribution Excellence’ we see an opportunity to take our core Distribution business, and make it both better and bigger. In ‘Vehicle Lifecycle Services’ we believe there is significant untapped potential, across all of our markets, that the business has not fully realised in the past. In summary, we are putting more emphasis on capturing the lifetime value of both customers and vehicles. We will approach our growth in a prudent and structured manner, in close collaboration with our OEM partners.

We have identified three key enablers that will play an integral role in making our strategy a success:

  • People, Culture and Capabilities: attracting, developing and retaining talent to enable a high performance innovation culture
  • Digital, Data and Analytics: integrate data and analytics to drive decision-making, and digitalise customer journeys
  • Efficient Scale Operations: standardisation of processes regionally and globally

We are confident this will drive growth within our current footprint and even faster expansion in new markets, with both existing and new partners.

As we look to define the future strategic direction of the business, so we have reviewed the role Inchcape plays in society and in this light we have defined our purpose:

“Bringing mobility to the world’s communities – for today, for tomorrow and for the better”

In conjunction with the development of our mid-term plan, we are building a responsible business plan that is deeply connected to our strategy and to all of our stakeholders.

Inchcape is a strong business, with significant unrealised potential. With our strategy we are striving to create an excellent business, with meaningful growth opportunities to deliver shareholder value through organic growth, consolidation and cash returns.

Our people

I would like to underscore how impressed I have been by our people, and to thank them for their dedication during a very challenging year. Our better than expected performance is credit in no small part to our people’s spirit and can-do attitude.

Inchcape employs a diverse talent pool that will be a major asset in the context of our evolving strategy. This is a business that strongly believes in supporting people to grow in their careers, just as they contribute to the growth of the business. This approach will continue to drive how we attract, develop and retain talented individuals as we look to support the further development and implementation of the strategy.

Sector reclassification

Given the shift of the business towards Distribution, the London Stock Exchange reconsidered the appropriateness of Inchcape’s sector classification. As of 19 June 2020, the Group has been classified within ’Business Support Services’ (previously ’Speciality Retail’).

Capital allocation

Our capital allocation policy remains unchanged and, in order, our priorities are: to invest in the business to position it strongly for the future; to make dividend payments; to conduct value-accretive M&A; and, in the absence of appropriate inorganic opportunities, consider share buyback programmes.

With a considerably strengthened financial position and renewed confidence in the future, the Board, having taken into account the extraordinary circumstances that the business endured during the year and a broad stakeholder perspective, believes it is the right time to resume dividends and has proposed a payment of 6.9p for FY2020.

Investment proposition

Distribution is at the core of Inchcape. Given our geographic footprint, with exposure to high growth markets and our diversified revenue streams, the Group aims to deliver global GDP-plus organic growth. The highly fragmented nature of Distribution also provides significant scope for inorganic expansion.

As the largest independent automotive distributor, we have a unique opportunity to leverage our scale and efficiencies, which we are doing today with our digital developments. In addition to its attractive growth prospects, the business is asset-light with a history of delivering a strong cash-conversion. Combined with a disciplined approach to capital allocation, we believe these should enable the Group to maintain its long track record of delivering attractive shareholder value.

Looking ahead

We are excited to be entering the next phase of the Group’s Distribution focused growth strategy, with an emphasis on greater use of technology to improve our business for the benefit of our consumers, our OEMs and our people.

As of today, the COVID-19 situation remains dynamic. While we saw good momentum in the business in the second half, volatility and unpredictability are likely to continue throughout 2021. Our operations are better equipped to continue in this rapidly changing environment and we have materially reduced our cost base. Absent any severe restrictions in 2021, we expect material growth in profits and an improved operating margin. This takes account of a c.£15m translational currency headwind to Group profits based on prevailing rates.

Looking beyond the short term, our vision is to both strengthen and further broaden our OEM relationships and to continue to expand our geographic reach – enabling us to bring mobility to the world’s communities.

Duncan Tait
Duncan Tait Group Chief Executive

OUR STRATEGY

Accelerating and evolving our business

Over the past five years, we have pursued a successful growth strategy under Ignite, one which has seen the Group grow from 26 to 34 markets and add new OEM partners to its Distribution portfolio. Our opportunity moving forward is to make our operating model genuinely scalable. Scalable in our core business of automotive Distribution. Scalable to capture more of the vehicle lifecycle.

We must accelerate and evolve.

To realise these opportunities, we have identified two strategic priorities, supported by three enabling actions.

Priority #1: Transform our core business through Distribution and Retail Excellence

The urgent need to change our route to market model is well understood and already underway. We need to accelerate the speed and scale of our ambition to ensure we offer our OEM partners the omni-channel solution that serves the customer more effectively than they or a competitor can. The only way to do this is through a step-change in our digital capabilities, use of data and through the standardisation and relentless optimisation of our core processes.

This will provide the opportunity to expand our market presence and broaden our OEM partnerships.

  • Accelerate
    Accelerate

    omni channel

  • Globalise
    Globalise

    distribution processes

  • Digitalise
    Digitalise

    processes

  • Customer Lifetime Value
    Customer Lifetime Value
  • Our six core distribution activities
    Our six core

Priority #2: Expand into new and adjacent Vehicle Lifecycle Services

The rise of digital business models in adjacent areas presents an opportunity for Inchcape to capture elements of the vehicle value chain currently under-exploited or not addressed. Digitalisation is removing barriers to entry and enabling competitors to create and scale businesses quickly. Inchcape’s local market knowledge, access to digital capability and exposure to proven disruptive models in existing markets means that Inchcape has the right to play in these adjacencies, creating new revenue streams.

  • Expand
    Expand

    services and activities

  • Leverage
    Leverage

    existing infrastructure

  • Build on
    Build on

    relationships

  • Vehicle Lifecycle Value
    Vehicle Lifecycle Value
  • People, Culture and Capabilities

    Enabler #1: Develop the people, culture, and capabilities we need to build on our core strengths of executional excellence and automotive knowledge and blend these with the digital, technological and process capabilities needed to succeed in the future.

  • Digital, Data and Analytics

    Enabler #2: Use Digital, Data, Analytics and Cyber Security to create the consumer experience relevant to each market based on data driven insights; make the business critical decisions that support efficient and effective execution using data; and ensure all of this data is totally secure.

  • Efficient Scale Operations

    Enabler #3: Develop Efficient Scale Operations to standardise our back office and core processes and apply ‘one best way’ to make us more efficient and more successful.

Richard Howes

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW

Gijsbert de Zoeten

I am pleased to present the Group’s Operating and Financial Review for 2020, a year of unprecedented challenge but one which also demonstrated the defensive qualities of the business.

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW

Richard Howes

Gijsbert de Zoeten

Chief Financial Officer

I am pleased to present the Group’s Operating and Financial Review for 2020, a year of unprecedented challenge but one which also demonstrated the defensive qualities of the business.

We delivered a robust performance in the face of the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This time last year, nobody could have predicted the duration or scale of the pandemic, still less the impact it would have on business activity across all 34 markets where we operate. It is a testimony to the resilience of our diverse business, and all of our people, that we finished the year with results ahead of recently upgraded expectations. Our performance was underpinned by our ability to meet the resilient demand for both Vehicles and Aftersales services across our markets, in particular during the second half.

This was supported by our ability to continue delivering vehicles, provide a click-and-collect service, and to continue to perform Aftersales services in affected markets. We also implemented a cost-restructuring programme, targeting £90m of overheads reduction which is now substantially complete. These cost-mitigation measures have helped not only to support profitability during the year but created a leaner and stronger overhead base for 2021.

In spite of the operational challenges, our absolute focus on cash management contributed to the strong FCF result. We worked in collaboration with our OEM partners, managing our inventory levels and financing terms, and maintained a heightened level of working capital discipline across all markets. Supported by our highly cash generative business model, our overall financial position has strengthened further, and we closed the year in a net cash position of £266m. Against the backdrop of an improving trading performance and strong cash generation, we have announced our intention to recommence dividend payments and the Board has recommended a final dividend of 6.9p for 2020.

As we enter the next phase of the Group’s growth strategy, our robust financial position and disciplined approach to capital allocation will ensure that the business is well-placed to leverage the many opportunities that lie ahead. It is an exciting journey that we are embarking on and one which will deliver benefits to all our stakeholders.

Gijsbert de Zoeten Chief Financial Officer

Key performance indicators

Our results are stated at actual rates of exchange. However, to enhance comparability we also present year-on-year changes in sales and operating profit in constant currency, thereby isolating the impact of translational exchange rate effects. Unless otherwise stated, changes are expressed in constant currency and figures are stated before exceptional items.

2020 2019 % change
reported
% change
constant FX
1
% change
organic2
 
Key financials
Revenue £6,838m £9,380m (27)% (25)% (19)%
Operating profit (pre exceptionals)1 £166m £373m (56)% (54)%
Operating margin1 2.4% 4.0% (160)bps (150)bps
Profit before tax (pre exceptionals)1 £129m £326m (61)% (59)%
Basic EPS (pre exceptionals)1 23.6p 59.9p (61)%
Dividend per share 6.9p 8.9p (22)%
Free cash flow1 £177m £213m (17)%
 
Statutory financials
Operating (loss) / profit £(92)m £449m
(Loss) / Profit before tax £(128)m £402m
Basic EPS (35.6)p 79.0p
 
  1. These measures are alternative performance measures, see pages 176-177 of annual report.
  2. Organic growth is defined as sales growth in operations that have been open for at least a year at constant foreign exchange rates.

KPIs

Key Performance Indicators

  • Revenue
    £6.8bn
    2019: £9.4bn
  • Operating Margin
    2.4%
    2019: 4.0%
  • PROFIT BEFORE TAX AND EXCEPTIONAL ITEMS
    £129m
    2019: £326m
  • FREE CASH FLOW
    £177m
    2019: £213m
  • RETURN ON CAPITAL EMPLOYED
    12%
    2019: 22%