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 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...