CAR dealer Peter Vardy has reported a small increase in after-tax profits to £5.8 million on the back of a four per cent rise in turnover to £468m, as it revealed plans for future online sales targets.

The retailer, which holds franchises for BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche and Vauxhall as well as two Peter Vardy CarStores in Glasgow and Dundee, said that, despite difficult market conditions, gross profit margins remained in line with the previous year at 12.7%.

The group said it continued to operate above its objective of £500,000 of retained profit per outlet, leading to the slight rise in retained profit after tax.

READ MORE: Car dealer Lookers' profit down 40%

Peter Vardy, chief executive, said the group aims to invest in digital innovation and transformation, with heavy investment in e-commerce sales and aftersales products.

The company intends to sell half of its vehicles online by 2023, with a target of 60% of all service bookings coming through online channels in the same year.

Mr Vardy said: “We are manoeuvring to be at the forefront of the rapidly-changing environment within the motor trade.

“We have continued to build on 2018’s success during the current financial year, putting us in a strong position to achieve our objectives.”

READ MORE: Car dealer Pendragon warns on losses

Mr Vardy said the 2018 figures illustrate the company’s resilience and its ability to maintain a strong performance amid difficult trading conditions for the industry as a whole.

This allowed the group to continue its programme of investment with the opening of its second Porsche showroom in Perth.

Mr Vardy said: “Our focus heading into 2018 was on two areas - driving used vehicle performance and maximising aftersales opportunities - and I am pleased to report positive results on both fronts.

“We are continuing to pursue our six-point strategy for growth, and are actively seeking expansion in both the physical and digital markets.

“The fact that we were working on our 2030 vision and strategy plans back in 2018 gives you an idea of the scope of our ambitions.”

Set up as a single dealership in Perth in 2006, Peter Vardy Group has grown to 14 dealerships across Scotland employing more than 800.

The company’s partnership share scheme welcomed 200 new staff during 2018, it said, and the group recorded industry-leading customer satisfaction scores across all of its franchises.