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Car retail groups scaled Sunday Times Top Track 250 rankings

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The Trade Centre Group was among the big winners as car retailer operations scaled the latest Sunday Times Top Track to 250 - rising 66-places to 90th.

Despite the challenging car market, the growing Welsh independent used car supermarket operator joined Steven Eagell (31st), Hatfields Group (67th), Big Motoring World (126th), Motordepot (131st), Toomey Group (148th), Saxton 4x4 (208th) and Riverside Motor Group (216th) in this year's rankings.

Last year franchised car dealerships failed to make the grade in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 league table at all as it ranked Britain’s private mid-market growth firms by latest sales.

Stipulating an operating profit margin above 2% and a revenues 5% up on the previous year among the sub-£700m section of businesses, this the 2018rankings failed to feature a single franchised retailer.

However, 2018’s torrid economic climate failed to subdue the success of franchised and independent retail.

Subaru and Isuzu importer, the IM Group, rode into the Top Track 250’s third place with a turnover up 9% to £693.3m and profits up 5% to £61.3m.

Toyota and Lexus franchisee Steven Eagell rose to 31st-place with revenues up 21% to £426.7m and profits up 78% to £10.1m after acquiring Sytner’s Lexus Milton Keynes franchise to grow the group to 22 retail sites – 18 Toyota and four Lexus.

In 67th-place Hatfields Group – the Netto awards 2018’s Best Retail Group – saw revenues rise 7% to £297.8m and profits by 24% to £10m after selling a total of 9,474 vehicles in 2018.

Big Motoring World grew its sales by 15%, to £206m, and profits by 27% to £8.4m in 2018, meanwhile, as it sold an average of 2,000 cars a month.

Motordepot, in 131st, saw its revenues rise 35% to £199.8m in 2018, alongside a 18% rise on profit to £8.4m.

In 148th-place the Essex-based Toomey Group delivered a 27% rise in profits to £7.6m despite a 4% decline in turnover.

Saxton 4x4 also grew its profits – by 122% to £6.6m – in the period. This came alongside a 9% increase in turnover, to £138m, which landed it 208th in the rankings.

In 216th-place Riverside Motor Group, meanwhile, was recognised after a 21% rise on revenues – to £132.9m – and a 32% increase in profit to £3m.

Top Track 250 big climber, the Trade Centre Group, was the only company with headquarters in Wales to reach this year’s Top 100, something that founder and chairman, Mark Bailey was keen to recognise. He said: “We are very proud to be the only Wales based business to feature in the Top 100 of the Top Track 250, we have invested significantly in growing the brand over recent years and it is great to see the hard work and enthusiasm of the team recognised in this way.”

Mark and his senior management team will collect their latest award in a ceremony to be held at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel in November, a month before opening the doors on their brand-new 1,000 car store in Rochdale.

Tim Carr, chief financial officer of The Trade Centre Group, said: “The last couple years have been significant in terms of scaling the business, however, our biggest period of growth remains ahead of us and we look forward to extending our footprint across the UK.”

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