Monday 23 April 2018

Maxwell Motors' turnover down a massive €30m

Donal O'Donovan

TURNOVER at Dublin car dealer Maxwell Motors fell by more that €30m after it lost its once lucrative BMW franchise, newly filed accounts revealed last night.

Accounts for 2009, filed with the Companies Registration Office, show that revenues fell from €46m in the 14 months to the end of 2008, to less than €14m last year.

Maxwell Motors had recorded a pretax profit of more than €1m in the year ended October 2007.

After that, the company opted not to renew its BMW franchise when it expired in September 2008. Since then, aggressive measures to tackle expenses have seen losses decline from €2.4m in the 14 months to the end of 2008 to "just" €914,600 for the 12 months of 2009.

After losing the franchise, Maxwell repositioned itself as an independent dealership, supplying premium new and used cars from a range of manufacturers, including bringing in cars, from the UK, to order.

The slowdown in losses last year came in the context of the dramatic decline in the scale of the business. At the end of 2009, Maxwell's had a staff of just 29 employees down from 65 in 2007 and 57 in 2008. Staff costs fell from €3.1m to €940,000 between 2008 and 2009.

The figures highlight how rapidly profitability has collapsed in the car distribution sector in 2008 and 2009, before the car scrappage scheme was introduced at the start of this year.

The figures for Maxwell Motors tally with the accounts for BMW Automotive, the company that imports and distributes BMW cars in Ireland. BMW Automotive is owned by the German parent. It saw revenues fall from €205m in 2008 to €55m in 2009, an unprecedented decline that drove it to recorded losses of €3m for the year. In 2008, profits had topped €9m. It said its 73pc fall in turnover was in line with the 62pc decline in car sales overall in the single year from 2008 to 2009.

Last week, Ireland's biggest BMW dealership, Joe Duffy Motors, revealed a 75pc fall in operating profits in the year to the end of 2009. Sales at the dealership, which is located on Dublin's Northside, dropped 46pc to €44m last year.

In contrast to Maxwell's, Joe Duffy Motors opted to not only hold on to its BMW franchise but has since added an Audi franchise.

Irish Independent

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