Plan Insurance Blog

Pendragon: more changes at the top and record losses announced

A week after reporting a pre-tax loss of over £32 million for the first six months of 2019 and announcing 300 job cuts, the UK’s biggest car dealer Pendragon announced that non-executive director Richard Laxer is to step down at the end of the year.

Pendragon, also branded in Britain as Stratstone and Evans Halshaw, had predicted a poor financial year, following on from last year’s decline in profits to £28 million. The loss has mainly been caused by the company deciding to cut prices to clear excess stock at its car stores, as well as falling prices across the wider market and political unrest.

Pendragon said:
“The heightened political and Brexit uncertainty, as to both outcome and timing, is adversely affecting customer confidence. We are not anticipating any improvement in this for the rest of our financial year.”

As a result, Pendragon, are planning to close 22 out of their 34 car stores and a preparation centre in Stoke. Pendragon shares were trading 0.6% lower on Thursday in London at 9.42 pence each.

Pendragon’s Non-Executive Chairman Chris Chambers will step down from his role on Tuesday 1st October, after six years at the firm.  He will be replaced by Non-Executive Director Bill Berman, on an interim basis. Laxer will continue to fulfill his role until the end of 2019, and his replacement takes over.

The current political uncertainty is likely to be a factor to due difficulties experienced within the sector, as highlighted in our article about the latest SMMT figures. Instability at the top and poor strategic decisions made by the board are also more than likely to be contributing factors. Sadly with devastating consequences involving hundreds of job losses.