Vertu has given a positive outlook for the year ahead despite “stalled” EV demand in its latest full-year results. In line with market expectations, the group revealed an adjusted profit before tax of £37.8 million, down on last year’s £39.3m for the year ended 29 February 2024. Turnover for the group hit a record £4.7 billion, up from £4.0bn last year.

Commenting on the results, Robert Forrester, Vertu chief executive officer, said: “’It was pleasing to see the group successfully navigating a difficult period of trading with declining used car values in the last few months of 2023. Used vehicle prices and margins have now stabilised and there has been strong cash generation from lower working capital reducing net debt below market expectations. During the year, record revenues of £4.72 billion were achieved.

“Moving to the new financial year, March and April 2024 were successful months. The group delivered new retail like-for-like sales volumes ahead of the market decline in March and April. This demonstrates the robustness and strength of the group’s operations.”

However, Forrester used the results to warn that the industry is likely to miss the ZEV Mandate target set this year at 22% BEV for cars and 10% for vans.

“Battery electric vehicle sales growth in the UK has stalled. Government mandated targets increase over the coming years and there is a risk the industry falls short of these targets. With the threat of significant fines on manufacturers on missing targets, the risk of potential market volatility later in the year and medium-term is elevated,” he said.

Vertu has reduced net debt to £54.0m from £75.3m last year.