Mercedes-Benz’s retail profits have fallen by nearly a half in the last 12 months.
Pre-tax profits fell by 48.2 per cent to £9.03 million in the year up to December 2015, but turnover rose by 10.6 per cent to £1.92 billion.
The luxury car manufacturer’s results were driven by a 6.2 per cent rise in new vehicle sales, reaching 28,242 units.
Despite a strong performance in new vehicle sales, Mercedes focused on used car sales in the same period with numbers up a healthy 19.6 per cent to 54,269 million.
The company said market conditions remained extremely competitive, though.
In July this year the company sold of its Manchester and Birmingham businesses to Chinese company Lei Shing Hong. Pre-tax profits of these businesses reached £4.2 million for the same period.
“Over the past two years Mercedes-Benz globally has reviewed the option of having a higher representation of franchise retailers whilst still maintaining a sizeable number of sites directly owned by Mercedes-Benz,” the company said in a report accompanying its results.
“This is reflective of the positive developments of both Mercedes-Benz’s directly owned sites and their franchise partners and is an approach which has been adopted in many other countries, including Germany.
“On 1 July 2016 the company sold the Birmingham and Manchester market areas. This transaction is expected to generate a profit of circa £49m.”