Belfast Telegraph

Donnelly Group motors ahead as pre-tax profits climb £742k

By John Mulgrew

One of Northern Ireland's largest car dealerships has witnessed a surge in pre-tax profits and turnover up by a fifth.

Donnelly Group saw its before-tax profits rising in the 12 months to October 31 last year to more than £860,000. That was up considerably on the previous 17-month period of £118,000.

The company, which is led by Terence Donnelly, saw its turnover sit at £243m during the same period. While that was a drop from the previous accounting period, the last set of accounts covered a 17-month period.

In the report, under the Donnelly Bros Garages (Dungannon) Ltd accounts, the firm said overall turnover based on a like-for-like 12-month period rose by 18%.

The firm has also boosted its workforce - growing its employee numbers across its sites to 582. That is up from 548 the year previous.

Within the company report, the firm said that "despite challenging economic conditions, the group increased turnover and profitability".

"The directors have plans in place to ensure the group is strongly placed to retain its market position and continued profitability," it added.

The report also said the group's "most important resource is its people", adding that their "knowledge and experience is crucial to meeting customer requirements".

Meanwhile, the group's overall profits after tax stood at £440,000 for the accounting year.

The Donnelly Group is the largest locally-owned vehicle retailer in Northern Ireland.

With seven sites across the province, it sells cars, commercial vans and 4x4s from around 20 global manufacturers.

The group also sells a large range of used vehicles, and has been in business for almost 70 years.

The accounts for the Dungannon-based company came as UK-wide car production fell last month, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The first half of the year was the best since 2008, with three cars built in the UK every minute, but last month saw a slowdown.

However, last month's new car sales figures will be welcome news for the company, with the number of cars driving out of forecourts here witnessing a rise, albeit slower than the UK average.

According to figures from SMMT, 4,226 new cars were registered during last month, compared to 4,159 in July 2014. That is a month-on-month rise of around 1.6%.

Earlier this year, Donnelly Group managing director Malcolm Kerr said small car sales continued to dominate the market, while small SUV-type vehicles such as the Nissan Juke and Qashqai had also witnessed a bump in sales.

He also said that sales of electric cars and vehicles were also on the up.

Donnelly Group has been synonymous with the motor industry here for almost 70 years.

It was set up in 1947, when Peter Donnelly started a car repair and taxi firm on the Tyrone and Armagh border.

It has since grown into Northern Ireland's largest locally-owned car dealership.

Belfast Telegraph