Company News

2017 Annual Results Announcement


Results for the year ended 31 December 2017



  • Double-digit growth with operating profit1 +14% at actual currency and adjusted EPS +12%
  • Strong underlying performance across our Distribution businesses, in particular Emerging Markets and Asia
  • Evolving business mix with 79% profit now through Distribution and 80% in Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets
  • Ignite supporting performance. Successful integration of new contracts; S. America acquisition trading profit ahead of plan
  • Good free cash flow generation of £314m. FY17 DPS of 26.8p, +13%
  • Continued focus on capital allocation; new share buyback up to £100m
Actual Rates 2017 2016 Actual Currency
Constant Currency
Revenue £8.9bn £7.8bn +14.2% +9.4%
Reported operating profit £394.9m £277.5m +42.3% +36.4%
Pre-exceptional2,3 operating profit £407.5m £359.1m +13.5% +8.8%
Reported profit before tax £369.9m £267.8m +38.1% +33.0%
Pre-exceptional1 profit before tax £382.5m £349.4m +9.5% +5.3%
Reported basic EPS 64.6p 43.2p +49.5%  
Basic adjusted EPS 67.0p 59.6p +12.4%  
Full year DPS 4 26.8p 23.8p +12.6%  
Vechicle trading profit £785.2m £678.7m +15.7% +10.4%
Aftersales gross profit £466.9m £400.4m +16.6% +12.3%
Distribution trading profit £346.3m £283.3m +22.2% +17.5%
Retail trading profit £93.2m £105.3m -11.5% -14.2%

1.Pre-exceptional profit
2. 2017 reported profit includes an exceptional charge £12.6m, including £10.5m of primarily cash exceptional charge relating to the fixed cost review, and £2.1m of costs relating to the South American acquisition. 2016 reported profit includes an exceptional charge of £81.6m, including non-cash exceptional impairment charges of £48.0m, an £8.8m cash exceptional charge in relation to the December 2016 acquisition and a £24.8m primarily cash exceptional charge, relating to the fixed cost review.
3. Our South American acquisition contributed £30.0m to FY17 pre-exceptional operating profit
4. The final dividend of 18.9p is subject to final approval at the AGM on 24 May 2018. The dividend will be paid on 22 June 2018 to all shareholders on the register of members on 18 May 2018. A Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) is available to Ordinary shareholders and the final date for receipt of elections to participate in the DRIP is 1 June 2018.


“I am very pleased with our performance over 2017, delivering strong profit and free cash flow growth. Our global diversification and Distribution-focused business model have been a clear advantage over the year. In 2017 we generated 79% of profits through Distribution and increased our exposure to the attractive Emerging Markets to 21%, double the 2014 level.  This has enabled us to deliver a solid trading profit performance over the year despite margin pressures in Retail markets. Within Distribution, we saw organic high single digit growth with Asia a particularly strong performer, and total growth boosted by the South America acquisition which is trading above plan. 

Progress under our Ignite strategy has also been very encouraging, as we have taken steps to strengthen the business and capitalise on the recent years of new car growth. Some highlights include group organic Aftersales gross profit +8%, profit growth in Russia driven by Ignite initiatives, and confidence in achieving the upper end of our targeted procurement savings plan.   Our focus on becoming the OEM’s partner of choice is also yielding results, as demonstrated by new BMW contracts in Estonia and, more recently, Guam.  We will hold a Capital Markets Day on 6 June 2018 to update the market on our Ignite implementation and success to date.

We have sufficient resources to pursue both inorganic growth opportunities and return excess cash to shareholders. Therefore the Board has approved a new buyback up to £100m to be completed over the next 12 months and we are proposing a full year dividend of 26.8p per share, up 13% year-on-year. 

Looking forward over the medium-term, we are well positioned to continue to leverage our global scale, drive growth from the installed base of vehicles and benefit from our positions across a unique spread of markets. In 2018, we anticipate a more challenging year given continued supply and demand imbalance in our Retail markets particularly over the first half of the year as well as new vehicle decline in Singapore, despite continued momentum across the rest of our businesses. Overall, we expect to deliver a resilient constant currency performance over 2018.”