Investment: Kwik-Fit drives into Europe
Friday 18 September 1998
The latest example of Kwik-Fit's expansion plans came yesterday with the pounds 105m cash purchase of Speedy Europe, a car parts fitter with 568 branches across continental Europe. The deal could prove vital for ensuring Kwik-Fit's long-term growth. For a start, it almost quadruples the number of fitting centres it has across Europe, giving Kwik-Fit a valuable outlet at a time when its traditional UK market is reaching saturation.
Moreover, Speedy offers Sir Tom Farmer, Kwik-Fit's resourceful chairman, a chance to launch some of the company's wackier ideas, such as Kwik-branded motor insurance and a breakdown service, on the Continent.
That said, Kwik-Fit will have to work hard at bringing Speedy's margins, now a measly 5 per cent, into line with the company's 10 per cent average. Sir Tom will also have to be careful about overstretching at a time when the European economic outlook is uncertain.
At home, Kwik-Fit continues to motor ahead in spite of some slippery markets. Yesterday it reported a 31 per cent increase in interim profits to pounds 33m on turnover up 5 per cent to pounds 251.7m. A glut of cheaper tyres imported from the Continent, courtesy of the strong pound, did little to dent profitability. Kwik-Fit actually managed to increase tyre profits despite a 5 per cent fall in prices.
The shares rose 19.5p to 467.5p yesterday and have now more than trebled in value over the last five years. On around 18 times 1998 forecast earnings of pounds 63m, they are a solid hold in uncertain times.
- 1 Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta clashes with President Obama on LGBT equality: ‘Gay rights is really a non-issue’
- 2 Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
- 3 Mers outbreak: Manchester Royal Infirmary A&E closes over suspected cases
- 4 Jon Snow alive? New Game of Thrones toy line suggests he's not among the dead
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
The 9 charts that show the 'left-wing' policies of Jeremy Corbyn the public actually agrees with
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
What the Labour party could look like under Jeremy Corbyn
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: £20000 - £25000 per annum + c...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of insurance and financial...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing financial ser...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...