Ford UK’s retail unit has achieved “a substantial profit increase” for the year ended 31 December 2009, it announced today (5 May, 2010). It achieved a pre-tax profit of GBP15.7m versus a GBP0.85m loss a year before on turnover of GBP 1.15bn, up from 1.058bn in 2008.

Total units sold was 88,053 (90,369 in 2008) and new retail units totalled 27,332 (26,352). New fleet car units accounted for 24,225 sales (21,780). Total new car sales increased 7.3% to 54,598 units. Used retail units totalled 27,767 versus 29,590 in 2008.

Despite what it called “extremely challenging economic conditions”, the group increased its new car market share in the UK by 1.9% to 15.2% and became the UK’s biggest supplier of Transit light commercial vehicles with a 13% share.

Chairman and chief executive Chris Hayden said: “Our results are very positive news for the business and is a result of our relentless focus on improving every aspect of our operation over recent years, specifically customer service which we are taking to new levels through our ‘Moments of Truth’ customer experience initiative. Of particular satisfaction is how we have managed to deliver more consistent positive results throughout the year on a month-by-month basis.”

Other key results included strong growth in the UK parts division, called ‘@first parts solutions’, where revenues increased 9.1% to over £95m amid “significant” sales and revenue generated by the growing internet business launched last year.

Although used vehicle volumes were down on 2008 figures in line with the market in general, profit contribution increased due to stronger margins and good trade performance. Reduced costs across the group were also a contributory factor towards the profit result.

Hayden added: “We remain cautious for the year ahead with the UK economic recovery in a fragile state and post-election uncertainties that exist such as the cost of borrowing. However, the group is in a strong competitive position, both financially and operationally, and is ready to fully exploit markets as conditions improve.”