Charles Sidney pulls ahead to reach pounds 2.4m: Flotation should value Mercedes dealer at pounds 25m

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The Independent Online
CHARLES SIDNEY, the Mercedes dealer being floated off from Albert Fisher, made operating profits of pounds 2.4m in the year to 31 August, according to the pathfinder prospectus published yesterday, writes John Murray.

The result was pounds 682,000 ahead of last year's outcome on turnover that jumped from pounds 41.3m to pounds 55.8m. The business has been significantly expanded in the past two years by the addition of two franchises in October 1991.

The flotation, due at the end of the month, is expected to value Sidney at about pounds 25m. It will be by way of a placing and public offer, with 10 per cent of the shares being sold through the offer reserved for employees.

The Yorkshire-based company is one of the largest distributors of Mercedes commercial vehicles in the country. Its commercial vehicle dealerships, which trade under the name Northside Trucks, are in Bradford and Sheffield.

There are also two Mercedes car dealerships - in Bradford and Doncaster - and servicing and after-sales operations in Rochdale and Doncaster.

The bulk of sales and profits in the year just ended came from commercial vehicles. John Ross, managing director, said luxury car sales had lagged the overall recovery in the motor industry.

But he expected the business to return to a better balance between commercial and car business.

(Photograph omitted)