Available Car Supermarket

Available Car Ltd

Strategic Report for Year Ending 31st December 2017

Available Car Limited is one of the UK’s largest multi channel used car buyers and retailers. Available Car is a family run used car retailer and a leading car supermarket group in the East and West Midlands and in the North of England and is the UK’s third largest independent dealer (in the latest Motor Trader Top 50 Independent Dealers Survey, based on turnover).

The business operates one of the UKs most popular on line clicks and mortar car dealership websites from four vast retail locations. Two are based in the East Midlands, one in the West Midlands and one in West Yorkshire. Each supermarket offers 35 exciting used car brands which retail between £4,000 to £24,000 and each one comes as standard with the unique Available Car Price Promise and the Available Car Provenance schemes. Every vehicle is checked to be outstanding quality and value for money and Available Car prides itself on working hard to deliver a world class customer service for every customer. Available Car pioneered a non motor trade retail concept which is not to sell to customers, it is simply to help them buy.

The four Car Supermarket sites are located at:

CASTLE DONINGTON – the original Available Car Site opened in January 2002 and extends to four buildings on 12.5 acres, it has in excess of 50,000 square foot of showroom and preparation centres. This head office site currently employs 244 and has the capacity to stock for sale 1,450 cars.

SUTTON-IN-ASHFIELD – opened in April 2007 and is a two part site with two buildings on 9 acres with 69,500 square foot showroom and preparation centres. The site currently employs 151 and has the capacity to stock for sale 1,050 cars.

CANNOCK – opened June 2013 and is a 14 acre three part site with four buildings on 49,000 square foot of showroom and preparation centres. The site currently employs 190 and has the capacity to stock for sale 1,450 cars.

LEEDS M62 – opened for trading January 2016 and is a 10.07 acre site with 116,000 square foot of showroom and preparation centres. A further 4.7 acres adjoining the site and M62 motorway have been acquired for future development. The site employs 127 and Leeds now has the capacity to stock 1,500 cars for sale. Future expansion plans of the 4.7 acres will enable the site to employ over 320 staff and to stock 2,500 cars for sale.

BUSINESS STRATEGIES & OBJECTIVES

The most important objective of the Available Car Group is the delivery of sustainable long term growth in earnings for the shareholders and for our employee stakeholders.

Available Car has achieved considerable growth in recent years and has built a very stable balance sheet of over £35m. This has given the company a base to expand from; first Sutton in Ashfield in 2007, then Cannock in the West Midlands in 2013 and lastly, Available Car’s newest and largest site in Leeds West Yorkshire in 2016. Leeds is a three to four year project for growth and expansion. At the time of writing this report Leeds had been trading for twenty five months and is well exceeding 2018 business plans.

AvailableCar operating objectives:

  • Increase and improve the choice and selection of the used car brands on offer to customers by sourcing best affordable used cars available in the UK market.
  • Available Car must deliver the very best, online used car showroom with a world class customer service experience.
  • The UK car market is being changed and transformed and is evolving at a faster pace than ever before by new technology and new software. It is an Available Car objective to ensure the business keeps up to date on the changes and adapts accordingly.
  • Technology is also changing the way customers live their lifestyles and ultimately, the way they shop. Car shopping for many, has moved to a mostly online pre sale, especially with the younger generations, who now feel just as comfortable with on line negotiations as they do with having to speak to a team member. With this in mind Available Car continues to deliver world class service by offering an ever present on line chat service to all website visitors.
  • Buying trends show that even more cars are being sold to more customers, even though less customers are visiting the showrooms compared to more customers shopping online. Customer’s choice is still to see and test drive their new used car before collection and this trend continues even stronger.
  • Continue to measure and improve servicing customers by all our teams with more training and apprenticeships, which will inevitably improve staff retention. Our teams strength for future balanced successive management planning is very well advanced with over 700 staff, 34% are under the age of 30 and 66% are over 30
  • Continue to invest in stakeholders with apprenticeships, advance skills training, succession management planning and motivational employment benefits including remuneration profit sharing through the profit related pay scheme.
  • Continue to improve operating efficiencies by refining the quality of Available Car properties and retail environment.
  • Continue major long term investment in reducing all Available Car energy usage our entire property estate now has low energy lighting internally and externally, plus new modern lower energy consumption heating units have replaced the older less efficient heating units throughout
  • To continually innovate, change and improve the business as fast as possible with new technology, new design and training to enable sustainable growth, resulting in higher returns for shareholders and rewarding long term employees with great well being and financially as a stakeholder

BUSINESS REVIEW

The year to 31 December 2017 was an excellent year for Available Car, which was its sixteenth full year of trading, experiencing another year of growth in the underlying business. The outlook forecast for 2017 was an increase in revenues which proved accurate.

Financial Highlights

  • Turnover has increased from £281m in 2016 to £304m in 2017. This has increased by 8.2% on last year;
  • Profit before tax of £8.435m is 39.6% higher than 2016;
  • Operating profit as a percentage of turnover before interest and tax is 3.04%;
  • The balance sheet has increased to £35m representing an increase of 20.7% on last year;
  • Return on capital employed before taxation and dividends is 23.8% compared to 22.5% in 2016.

Available Car Economics - 2017 Profit Drivers

Areas where we have continued to invest are:

  • PRODUCT MIX – we continue to improve our stock control and the selection of cars available with a focus on affordable, newer used models. In addition there has been further recruitment and expansion within the in house buying teams and there has been considerable improvements in 2017 with all purchasing of used cars, including supply agreements.
  • MEASURABLE RETAIL SERVICE - during 2017 internal customer surveys for pre and post-sale have consistently improved and we have maintained high levels of measurable customer satisfaction exceeding 90%. Our target satisfactory level is 98%.
  • BRAND VALUES – with a genuine ethos to deliver a world class customer service the Available Car supermarket is creating a premium brand respected as a market leader in the four regions that it operates.

The Available Car long term expansion plan has significantly strengthened the start to 2018. As a family business, we plan for the long term and expect to succeed for decades to come.

As a business we are now in year four of introducing new operations, innovative new practices and new management teams to help deliver improved customer service.

The strength of Available Car is built on honesty to deliver world class customer service. The Board of Directors feel very proud of everyone’s valuable contribution during the year.

With strong growth prospects we have the opportunity to claim position as a market leader, to deliver volume used car brands which are respected by the public.

Every member of the Available Car team is regarded as a stakeholder. The Directors are pleased to confirm for 2017 Available Car paid a 325% PRP profit share bonus to all members of staff, which equates to 16.25% extra annual salary. A total year end bonus boosted the annual payroll to £24m.

We are an ethical family run business and over 700 members of the team are all on permanent contracts. The majority of all employees who joined Available Car still work for the company, which makes staff retention levels a leading asset. As a choice we do not operate short term employee contracts because it is a company belief that employees should feel working for Available Car provides a secure lifelong career for them and their families and that they will be rewarded and promoted through the business on the back of their hard work.

The Directors would like to thank all the team for their excellent contribution throughout the 2017 year this performance has strengthened the entire Available Car network for what should be a very rewarding 2018.

OUTLOOK FOR 2018

Available Car are expecting the used car market to be more volatile than 2017 with more competition, more challenges and greater opportunities. We do, however, anticipate the newly expanded Available Car Group will increase revenues in 2018.

GRAHAM BELL / AVAILABLE CAR LTD ANNUAL TAX STRATEGY

This tax strategy is in respect of Graham Bell Holdings Ltd and its wholly owned subsidiaries Graham Bell Ltd, Available Car Ltd and Available Vehicles Ltd (dormant).

This document sets out the group’s attitude towards tax risk and includes the following:

  • How we manage our tax risks
  • Our attitude towards tax planning
  • Our specific tax risks
  • How we work with HMRC

This document complies with the requirements of Finance Act 2016 Schedule 19.

How we manage our tax risks

The group aims to operate with integrity and transparency, to comply with the intent of Parliament as far as the tax regulations are concerned, pay all liabilities on time and file all returns within the required time limits.

The day to day reporting is dealt with by suitably qualified members of the Finance department who will consult with external consultants or tax advisors where appropriate and in particular on anything that is outside of normal operations.

The Group aims to identify inherent risk factors but, given the complex nature of the organisation, singular transactions follow step by step procedures. Any risk factors relate to the volume of transactions and management of this process. Reporting functions are therefore managed through the finance team involving consistency of approach, stable staffing structure, management and reporting procedures.

The responsibility for the tax affairs of the Group rests with the Directors who in turn delegate day to day management of the Groups tax affairs to relevant members of the finance team.

Our attitude to tax planning

The Group only engages in planning that reflects the genuine economic nature of the circumstances and will never act in a way that we believe could be considered inconsistent with our understanding of the intent of Parliament or which could be contrary to any anti abuse legislation.

Tax risks

The level of risk management is set so that the director shareholders are suitably protected as they are not involved in the day to day financial management of the Group. The Group place a lot of emphasise on external advisors to review the corporate compliance of the group together with other taxes as appropriate. The fact that such a high level of review is expected form external sources highlights the stakeholders attitude to risk and their aim to comply with tax legislation.

Working with HMRC

We aim to engage openly and constructively with H M Revenue & Customs to discuss tax planning strategies, risks and significant transactions relating to our tax affairs. Where necessary we will seek formal or informal clearance from HMRC on tax positions where there may be uncertainty and engage in open dialogue with our dedicated CRM.

We will seek to resolve any issues before returns are filed and to make fair and accurate disclosures in tax returns, reports or other documents required to be submitted to HMRC.

We will aim to work proactively with HMRC and to adhere to timescales to resolve any tax disputes but where recourse is required to the Tribunal we will maintain a professional working relationship throughout the process.

AVAILABLE CAR LIMITED’s Gender Pay Gap Data

  • Women’s hourly rate is 21.5% lower (mean) and 8.2% lower (median).
  • Top salary quartile has 90.8% men and 9.2% women
  • Upper middle salary quartile has 89.7% men and 10.3% women
  • Lower middle salary quartile has 83.2% men and 16.8% women
  • Lower salary quartile has 84.2% men and 15.8% women
  • Women’s bonus pay is 65% lower (mean) and 29.4% lower (median)
  • 90.3% of men and 92.7% of women received bonus pay

ALL employees are included in the Available Car Annual Profit Related Pay scheme as a percentage of salary. It is calculated based on Company Net Profit Results for Year End. Average PRP paid was 325% to target equivalent to 17.5%
Bonus of salary for all Males and Females.
All Males and Females are paid exactly same in all job roles in all our Branches in all Locations since established in 2002.

MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT

This statement is in respect of Graham Bell Holdings Ltd (The Group) and its wholly owned subsidiaries Graham Bell Ltd, Available Car Ltd and Available Vehicles Ltd (dormant).

This statement is made pursuant to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps that The Group has taken and is continuing to take, to ensure that modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place within our business or supply chain.

Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, human trafficking and forced labour. The Group has a zero tolerance approach to any form of modern slavery. We are committed to acting ethically and with integrity and transparency in all business dealings and to putting effective systems and controls in place to safeguard against any form of modern slavery taking place within the business or our supply chain.

Our Business

The Group operates from six sites and retails used cars within the UK. We deal with a mixture of small local businesses along with large UK and ROI based organisations.

Our Policies

We operate a number of internal policies to ensure that we are conducting business in an ethical and transparent manner and in line with current legislation. These include:

  1. Anti-slavery policy. This policy sets out the organisation’s stance on modern slavery and explains how employees can identify any instances of this and where they can go for help.
  2. Recruitment policy. We operate a robust recruitment policy, including conducting eligibility to work in the UK, checks for all employees to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.
  3. Whistleblowing policy. We operate a whistleblowing policy so that all employees know that they can raise concerns about how colleagues are being treated, or practices within our business or supply chain, without fear of reprisals.

Our Suppliers

The group operates a supplier policy and maintains a preferred supplier list. We conduct due diligence on all suppliers before allowing them to become a preferred supplier.

Training

We regularly conduct training for our procurement/buying teams so that they understand the signs of modern slavery and what to do if they suspect that it is taking place within our supply chain.

Approval for this statement

This statement was approved by the Board of Directors on 8th March 2018.

Our admin fee is £0.00

BE AWARE that many Dealers expect you to pay an 'admin' fee to cover their paperwork, checks, valeting or even the cost of number plates.
We don't think this is fair. We do this FREE OF CHARGE

DISCLAIMER: Available Car Limited offers the details of vehicles in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of any information including Fitted Extra information supplied by 3rd party providers. Therefore all customers are advised to view vehicles at our showrooms and with the help of our advisers, ensure their specific requirements are met before purchase. All used car prices exclude Road Fund License and E&OE. Car savings are taken from CAP Guide

Available Car Limited, Registered Office, Station Road, Castle Donington, DE74 2NL. Registered in England and Wales No. 4318082, VAT Registration No. 785771475. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the purpose of insurance mediation activity FRN309871.
AvailableCar are licensed Credit brokers, written Quotations are available on request subject to status. 18 years old or over.
Calls may be recorded for training purposes.

© AvailableCar Ltd 2010-2018