Inchcape to cut jobs as Covid shutdowns force first-half loss
Car dealer Inchcape said it would be cutting jobs globally as it swung to a first-half loss due to Covid-19 shutdowns.
The company on Thursday reported a pre-tax loss of £188m in the first six months of the year, compared with a £154m profit a year earlier.
Inchcape, which has more than 100 franchised dealerships, said group revenue fell 36% to £3bn as lockdowns hammered trade.
A worldwide restructuring programme was expected to cost £70m to help Inchcape emerge “stronger, with a leaner platform”. Expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021, the plan was expected to deliver a cost benefit of more than £90m.
The restructuring will include slashing sales and support personnel jobs around the world. Inchcape has operations in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America.
It will also include renegotiation of third-party expenditure and “a further rationalisation of our footprint”.
“Following the April low, we have seen sales performance sequentially improve in both May and June, as trading resumed across more markets,” the company said.
“It remains too early to call out a trend based on what we have observed thus far, not least because of the distortion effect of pent-up demand as we reopen markets.”
Inchcape said it was currently open in 30 markets including Singapore and the UK but was still closed in Chile, Costa Rica and Panama.