The 2015 AM100 by numbers


Four - The number of new entrants in this year’s table

The four companies making their entry to the AM100, either for the first time or returning, are Steven Eagell at number 99 (turnover £119 million); Marsh Wall at 94 (£131m); Cotswold Motor Group at 90 (£145m) and Eden Motor Group.

Eden’s leap to number 67 was aided by chief executive Graeme Potts’ decision to take over the Hyundai representation in Reading from West London Motor Group in May. Its resulting turnover is £195 million.

The entry point for the AM100 this year is Ford solus dealer Foray Motor Group’s £115m. This is a £2m increase on 2014, and £11m
on 2013. 

Previous years’ new entrant totals:- 2014: Three, 2013: Five, 2012: 10


£13,834 -  The top 20 groups’ average profit per employee

The average figure for the top 20 performers  at £13,834 is 10% better than last year and 30% better than two years ago. For the second year running, CEM Day achieves the highest figure with its 531 staff at £23,316 – an increase of 7% on 2014. At number 20, Glyn Hopkin made £11,798 profit per staff member. The total number of staff in the AM100 is at 105,091, up 6% on 2014.

Previous years’ results:- 2014: £12,496, 2013: £9,548, 2012: £8,144


2.5% - The average return on sale (RoS) for the 20 best groups

Last year, we acknowledged CEM Day’s success in being the only AM100 group to exceed 3% return on sale, a feat it achieved three years running. Now the Ford, Peugeot and Fiat retailer, at number 58 in the AM100, has gone one better. It has broken the 4% mark, the only dealer to have done so this year. CEM Day’s RoS figure is 4.04%. No other dealer has achieved this in the past five years.

Arnold Clark comes second in our top 20 countdown, recording 3.29%, and Hatfields comes close to the 3% mark at 2.9%. New entrant Eden Motor Group is also in the top 20 for RoS with a figure of 2.47%.

Overall, the average RoS figure is up a little at 2.5%, compared with 2.22% last year.

Previous years’ RoS top 20 averages:- 2014: 2.22%, 2013: 2.3%, 2012: 2.1%


£42.5m - Average profit before tax of the 10 biggest profit earners

For the 10 highest achievers, profit before tax has increased 31% year-on-year and is up 69% in a two-year period. The top 10 group continues to be dominated by plcs (Pendragon, Vertu, Sytner, Lookers and, from this year, Marshall Motors), but it is the privately owned Arnold Clark that tops the table for the second year running with £107m PBT, up 26% year-on-year. For three years, it has been competing for the top spot with Sytner and this year beats the Leicestershire-based company’s result by nearly 20%.

Lookers’ and Pendragon’s PBT total is around the £60m mark, well ahead of Jardine (£24.8m), Vertu (£21m), JCT600 (£18.6m) and Listers, Helston and Marshall Motors around the £13m-14m mark. Helston is the lowest-placed group in the AM100 to feature here, at number 23, with a turnover of £471m.

Previous years’ PBT top 10 average:- 2014: £32.4m, 2013: £25.2m, 2012: £23.1m


£627,513 -  Average profit per outlet

The number of outlets operated by the AM100 continues to grow and earnings per site continue to strengthen, with an average figure up 15% year-on-year.

CEM Day tops the ranking again, with a figure of £1,125,545 profit per outlet from its 11 sites. Exceeding six figures is a first for the group, but not for the AM100. Spire Automotive achieved the milestone in 2011 with a figure of £1,016,250.

Thompson Motor Company is at number two for the second year running, with a total of £889,333, an 18% increase. It is also the lowest-placed group in the AM100 to figure in this top 20, at number 86. Harwoods, Sytner, Currie Motors, SG Smith, Dick Lovett and Porsche Retail Group also exceed the average figure.

Previous years’ performance:- 2014: £545,918, 2013: £380,035, 2012: £318,470


2,779 -  Total number of outlets or franchised dealerships

The AM100’s proportion of the UK franchised network has grown this year, but by less than 1%. According to figures from AM’s franchised dealer data site AMi (, the AM100 operates less than 60% of the UK’s total franchised outlets – the exact figure is about 57%.

Previous years’ outlet totals:- 2014: 2,757, 2013: 2,700, 2012: 2,521


The 2014 AM100 by numbers


£32.4m The average profit before tax of the 10 biggest profit earners
Compared to £25.2m last year, the latest average profit before tax figure for the top 10 groups has risen 29% – a little over 40% over a two-year period (2011: £22.8m). Year after year, plcs Lookers and Pendragon lead the AM100 for profitability alongside Sytner and Arnold Clark Automobiles. This year the Scots are at number one with a PBT figure of £85.2m, a 41% increase in its year-on-year profitability from £60.5m. Sytner is at number two with £71m (6% up year-onyear), Lookers follows with £46.6m (28% up YoY) and then Pendragon with a more modest PBT increase of 3% to £37.6m.
Previous years’ PBT top 10 average: 2013: £25.2m (up 9%), 2012: £23.1m (up 1.3%), 2011: £22.8m


£545,918 Average profit per outlet
The number of outlets operated by the AM100 has increased slightly (2,758 v 2,700) and yet this has far from diluted earnings with 2014’s research seeing a 44% year-on-year increase in performance per franchised outlet. CEM Day, with 11 outlets, has the highest at £984,545, a leap in its own leading position in 2013 of 72%. Close as it may be to the £1m mark, it is not as impressive as Spire Audi in 2011 when it achieved £1.02m. CEM Day, Harwoods, Dick Lovett, Sytner, Currie Motors, TC Harrison, Peter Vardy and Thompson Motor Company all exceed the average figure.
Previous years’ performance: 2013: £380,035 (up 19%), 2012: £318,470 (down 33% year-on-year), 2011: £477,587


£12,496 The top 20 group’s average profit per employee
The number of people employed by the AM100 is up from 2013, but they are working harder, helped by the boost to the new car sales market. The average profit per employee in our top 20 is £12,496, 31% higher than last year. For four years Spire Automotive had the highest return per staff member, but it has dropped to number eight with £12,459. For the first time a group has broken the £20,000 barrier. RoS champion CEM Day achieves £21,660 profit per staff member, making it the top performer by this measure. Toomeys makes its first appearance in the top 20 at number two, with £15,144. These two groups, plus Helston Garage, exceed the £15,000 figure. The last company to match this was Spire Automotive in 2012, with £15,319.
Previous years’ results: 2013: £9,548 (17% increase), 2012: £8,144 (down 27%), 2011: £11,113


2,757 Total number of outlets...
or franchised dealerships – representing an increase of 57 or 2% from the 2013 total of 2,700. According to figures from AM’s franchised dealer data site AMi (, the AM100 operates more than 60% of the UK’s total franchised outlets.
Previous year’s outlet totals: 2013: 2,700 (up 7%), 2012: 2,521 (up 1%), 2011: 2,495 (up 0.3%)


3 The number of new entrants
A fall of two year-on-year. Blue Bell had been an AM100 backmarker for several years with a turnover a little over £100m. But it was divided up and sold to two groups this year. The boost in turnover of £50m for Knights Group when it bought Blue Bell Crewe in April sees its turnover grow 73% on the previous year, the biggest increase in the AM100. The remaining new entries are Essex Auto Group and Wessex Garages, each with turnover of £121m and at number 94 in the AM100. Last year’s entry point for the AM100 was £104m. This year it is £113m, reflecting the across-the-board boost in turnover in our countdown.
Previous years: 2013: 5, 2012: 10, 2011: 4


2.22% The average return on sale (RoS) for the 20 best groups
CEM Day’s figure of 3.6% sees it repeat its success of last year, being the only group in the AM100 to exceed the 3% mark and topping our RoS ranking. It is also the third year running this Ford, Peugeot and Fiat retailer has hit 3% or more. Below CEM Day are Arnold Clark with 2.9% (2013: 2.4%), Westover Group and Helston Garages with 2.8% (2.9% and 2.5%). At number 20 in our ranking is Beadles Group with 1.7%.
Previous years’ RoS top 20 averages: 2013: 2.26%, 2012: 2.1%, 2011: 2.7%