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 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...
£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...