Kwik-Fit gets recovery on the road with 49% advance

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KWIK-FIT, the tyre, exhaust and brake replacement group, returned to its growth path yesterday, reporting a 49 per cent leap in profits to pounds 25.4m for the year to the end of last month, writes John Murray.

Aggressive marketing and continued emphasis on cost control fuelled the recovery after a profits slump from pounds 32m to pounds 17m the previous year. Tom Farmer, chairman, said the recovery in the economy helped, with motorists more willing to spend money on their cars.

Sales were 11 per cent higher at pounds 260m, and Mr Farmer said that Kwik-Fit had captured 2 per cent of the brake replacement market following the launch of its Brake-Safe promotion in October.

The group's expansion has continued, with 16 new branches added during the year. Mr Farmer said it was his aim to reach 700 centres in the UK, where there are now 491.

There are also plans to expand further in Europe.

The total dividend rises to 3.8p (3.35p) on earnings per share that jumped 47 per cent to 10.39p.