StockMarketWire.com - Auto retailer Vertu Motors booked a sharp fall in annual profit after it wrote down the value of its assets to reflect the impact of Covid-19 on future performance.

Pre-tax profit for the year through February dropped 71% to £7.3m, even as revenue rose 2.8% to £3.1bn.

Vertu Motors said the impairment charge predominantly owed to goodwill relating to its Mercedes-Benz operations, and a freehold property operating its Vauxhall franchise.

Adjusted operating profit rose 5.8% to £29.1m. The company did not declare a final dividend.

Car sales fell dramatically after the UK imposed lockdowns in March, though Vertu said it had still managed to sell some vehicles through online channels.

Its English showrooms reopened for sales on 1 June, though its Scottish showrooms remained closed and were only able to make home deliveries.

Adjusted pre-tax profit in March was £5.9m, well below normal levels, while April and May saw combined losses of £20m, though they was 'significantly improved' on the group's initial forecasts.

'Given the heightened uncertainty of any forecast at this current time, it is inappropriate to provide any guidance with respect to market expectations,' Vertu Motors said.

'The longer-term consequences of the virus on retail and fleet demand are not known,' it added.

'However, the use of public transport and shared mobility may become less attractive, due to the risks of close contact with others, increasing demand for vehicles for personal mobility using private cars.'

'In contrast, increased flexibility of the workforce in future may reduce the demand for transport as more are able and choose to work from home.'

'The evolution of the UK vehicle parc going forward will be impacted by these factors.'

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