Marshall Motor is the seventh largest UK motor retailer, operating 106 franchises spread across 23 brands at 89 locations. It is one of six UK dealership groups that represent each of the top five volume and premium brands. It has a strong presence in eastern and southern England.
MMH has established a strong track record as it has transformed and grown to rank seventh among UK automotive retailing groups. Strong brand coverage, excellent relationships with major manufacturers and a strong balance sheet continue to support strategic development. FY18 was another record for the continuing businesses. The outlook for FY19 remains challenging not least due to Brexit uncertainty with modest market declines likely. Management displayed confidence with ongoing investment and hiking the dividend 33%, providing a healthy yield.
Market dynamics favour larger motor dealership groups against smaller independent groups, which still command c 60% of the franchise market. Global manufacturing overcapacity still points to OEM support, although market and buyer confidence is undermined by Brexit concerns, negative sentiment on diesel and PCP finance and potential H218 new car supply disruption rates. The large rating discount to the FTSE All-Share General Retailers Index fails to recognise defensive qualities across a sector where used vehicle and aftersales activities account for the majority of profits.