Alexander ready to add to dealerships: Motor companies move into higher gear as rising sales make it easier to expand

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The Independent Online
ALEXANDERS Holdings, the Ford motor dealer, is ready for substantial expansion this year after returning to profits, writes Neil Thapar.

The company, majority controlled by Aleksandra Clayton, yesterday reported taxable profits of pounds 512,000 for the year to 30 September after a pounds 691,000 loss previously.

The turnaround, on a slight dip in turnover to pounds 87m, was accompanied by the resumption of a 0.5p dividend, from earnings of 1.25p, against a loss per share of 1.39p.

Roger Humm, brought in as chief executive a year ago, is promising more for the current year. He is looking for acquisitions and hopes to clinch a significant deal within three months.

The company is keen to add to its Ford dealerships and other marques ahead of a possible break- up of Britain's UK car franchise network next year.

'The character of the car market is likely to change considerably in the next two to three years,' he said. As a result the company plans to position itself for an expected concentration of dealer networks in fewer hands.

Mr Humm said the expansion would also help to improve liquidity in the company's shares.

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