Vertu Motors is set for a
period of sustained growth, after achieving impressive interim
profits and receiving a £25 million debt and acquisition facility
from Barclays Corporate.

The UK’s eighth-largest motor
retailer, known widely through its Bristol Street Motors brand, saw
pre-tax profit for the six months to 31 August rise 73 percent
year-on-year, from £2.8 million to £4.9 million. Revenues rose 25
percent from £401.3 million to £501.5

The profit increase comes on
the back of a year of acquisitions – the group has acquired 29 of
its 74 sales outlets in the past 18 months, including 16 since

The driving force behind the
acquisition trail so far has been £30 million worth of funding
secured in June 2009. The new funding from Barclays is expected to
fuel further growth.

Vertu Motors finance director
Michael Sherwin said: ‘Barclays have been very supportive of our
requirements and play an integral part in our plans for future

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‘With the new financial
structure in place, we are now able to focus on further
acquisitions. We intend to be proactive in taking advantage of the
opportunities the current climate presents.’

Vertu chief executive Robert
Forrester said the rate of acquisitions would slow in the second
half of the financial year, however, as the group focuses on
increasing profitability at its new outlets.

“There are plenty of
opportunities. I have to work out which ones I want to buy,”
Forrester said.

Vertu has predicted posting a record profit for the full
year ending in February.