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National Tyres to Double Number of Outlets

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) Axle Group executives have announced plans to acquire up to 200 independent retail outlets across the U.K. in an effort to double the number of branches in the company’s National Tyres chain.

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Group financial director John Kemp told Tyres & Accessories that National Tyres is “actively looking” for the right kind of acquisition targets and is “prepared to borrow” to do this. In his words, expanding the retail network is a great opportunity to “further enhance (the) bottom line.”

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The announcement coincides with the publication of the company’s financial results, which show that the company achieved £121.4 million of sales in 2005, up 7% on the previous year. During the period Axle Group recorded an operating profit of £883,000, almost £9 million more than the company reported in its 2004 accounts.

Commenting on the news, Axle Group chairman and chief executive Alan Revie said: “This business posted a £44 million trading loss the year we bought it and we have turned it into a profitable operation. We currently have 206 sites… and I believe we could grow to about 400 branches.”

National Tyres is currently developing three new branches in Shipley, Yorkshire, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire and Oldsbury in the West Midlands.

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