A YEAR of keeping motor dealer Mitchell North West on the straight and narrow enabled shareholders to receive dividend of £2.6m.
The Cheshire Oaks firm saw pre-tax profits jump 40% to £1.45m in 2009, despite sales only increasing 1% to £34.5m.
However, it warned that it believes ‘2010 will be a more difficult trading year than 2009’ because of expected cutbacks affecting public-sector workers.
Mitchell NW, which sells Mazda, Skoda and Lexus vehicles, sold about 200 new cars through the car scrappage scheme, but the total volume was still 5% below 2008.
It increased the volume of used car sales by 14%, which was further boosted by an increase in margins by changing the stock mix to newer cars.
In accounts filed at Companies House, the directors said: “We have great strength in our used car operation and see it as our focus for growth for the future.
“Given the strengths of the brands we represent and our own reputation, we feel we are in an excellent position to make a good return in the period.”
The firm was founded in 1990 by Mark Mitchell, now group managing director, and employs nearly 100 staff. Shareholders’ funds at the year-end were £2.18m.
It added: “Although the balance sheet shows net current liabilities of £368,668, the directors, having reviewed and approved financial projections including cashflow forecasts for the year to January 2011 and given the continued support of the directors and the bank, consider it appropriate to prepare the accounts on a going concern basis.”
Mitchell NW made charitable donations of £150,000.