Turnover down at car retailer Donnelly Group in 2022

The Donnelly Group has nine showrooms across the north.
The Donnelly Group has nine showrooms across the north. The Donnelly Group has nine showrooms across the north.

INDEPENDENT car retailer Donnelly Group has reported a fall in its sales for last year.

The Dungannon-based company recorded £252.3 million in turnover for the year to December 31 2022.

That represented a 4.5 per cent drop from its 2021 performance of £264.4m.

Sales of new cars is continuing to recover post-pandemic, but the market remains well below pre-Covid levels.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 13,318 new cars were registered in the north in the first quarter. That was around 3,300 fewer cars than the same quarter in 2019.

The Donnelly Group has nine showrooms across Northern Ireland, representing 18 manufacturers.

Prior to the pandemic in 2019, the motor group’s turnover was in excess of £311m, with a workforce of 792.

Last year, the group had 527 staff on its books, a fall of 265 people in two years.

It cut around £6m from its annual wage bill.

Despite the fall in turnover, Donnelly Group’s profits are much improved on its pre-Covid performance.

Following annual losses in 2018 and 2019, the group returned to profit in 2020.

Last year the group recorded a pre-tax profit of £5.3m, albeit slightly down on the £5.9m from 2021.

Commenting on the latest set of company results, Donnelly Group’s managing director Dave Sheeran said: “Despite challenging economic conditions impacting on consumer demand and continued supply chain disruption in the delivery of new vehicles across all manufacturers and consequentially the availability of used vehicle stock, the directors are entirely satisfied with the performance of the company across 2022.

“The automotive industry is in the midst of significant change given the transition from petrol and diesel engines to hybrid and electric vehicles.

“This is challenging for consumers, particularly in Northern Ireland where the charging infrastructure is not at a level required to support the new technology.

“Nevertheless, the company is well positioned for future growth and remains committed to its strategic plan. We are confident that the firm will continue to evolve and expand within the changing automotive sector.”

The Donnelly Group has dealerships for 18 vehicle manufacturers including Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Renault, Vauxhall and Volkswagen.