Motorline Holdings has reported a £6.1m profit before tax. This includes £7.1m in government grants, for the year ended December 2020, up from a profit of £2.8m in 2019. Turnover fell slightly from £717m to £695m and ordinary dividends of £1m, up from £600k in 2019, were paid to directors.

The £7.1m in grants related mainly to the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This helped them “minimise redundancies and retain staff in addition to the rates relief that was available during lockdown”. Following the first lockdown, the franchised dealer group reopened in June 2020.

Motorline withdrew from the Renault franchise during 2020, explaining the 3% fall in turnover and 12% fall in gross profit. They did, however invest in Audi. This included the relocation of its Audi Canterbury site, which significantly improved operating profit.

The business also redeveloped a vacant site in Crawley on behalf of a third party tenant. This was sold to an investment company for £9.4m, resulting in profit before tax of £3.7m.The directors admit some concerns over vehicle stock availability for the balance of 2021, but are still confident of achieving a strong FY 2021 result “that exceeds the 2020 performance”.

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