In its annual report for the year ending 30 September 2008,
Paragon Vehicle Contracts Limited, part of The Paragon Group of
Companies, saw turnover fall by nearly 10 percent, to £3.6
Profit after tax fell from £15,000 in 2007 to a loss after tax
of £131,000 in 2008. This was mainly driven by an increased fleet
provision of £197,000, up from £0 in 2007; and an important tax
charge increase to £103,000, up from £39,000 the previous year.
Despite the retained loss, the directors said they consider that
the company “will continue to perform satisfactorily”.
At Northridge Finance Limited, results were also down compared
to the previous year, although the company was far from making a
Profit before tax decreased to £2.8 million, down a considerable
48 percent on 2007’s figures, where pre-tax profit was over £5
Total operating income also decreased, by 6 percent, to £9.9
million, while costs rose by 36 percent to £7.1 million. The
company increased staff numbers to 50, up from 37 in 2007 – which
also led to rising costs, up 51 percent to reach £2 million.
“This increase in costs is to support the growth of the
business,” Northridge’s directors said. Loans and advances to
customers increased to £745.9 million, up from £519.5 million in
2007, matched by a loan from its parent company, Bank of
Commenting on the future of the company, its directors said they
“will continue to seek every opportunity to increase profitable
Meanwhile, with pre-tax profit of £5.3 million, up from £4.2
million in 2007, Zenith Vehicle Contracts Limited had a strong year
Adjusting for one-off items, operating profit at the lessor
showed a 23 percent improvement compared to the previous year, to
£4.6 million – “an extremely pleasing result in the current market
conditions”, the directors commented.
Strong organic growth translated into the number of financed
vehicles growing by 14 percent, and total fleet under management
increasing by 34 percent compared to the previous year.
The company also grew ancillary services strongly, with net
income from daily rental and accident management services growing
by 23 percent and 27 percent respectively.
“The business has a robust base from which to build and we have
many exciting opportunities with both new and existing customers
which we expect to be able to exploit over the next year,” said
The company has increasingly been passing customer credit risk
onto its funding banks – indeed, around 90 percent of new business
is now being underwritten by Zenith’s banking partners.
“[We] are confident the longstanding policy of steady growth,
accompanied by positive measures to control the balance of risk in
the business, will continue to prove fruitful in forthcoming
years,” the directors added.
Arval UK Group Limited also saw its turnover grow, both
organically and by acquisition, to reach £2.6 billion in the year
ending 31 December 2007.
During the reporting period, Arval acquired Allstar Business
Solutions Limited and its subsidiary Dialcard Fleet Services
Limited; which together contributed £70.6 million to group
The lessor, part of BNP Paribas Lease Group, saw pre-tax profit
rise slightly to £35.5 million, up on 2006’s £33.9 million; and
operating profit reach £48.9 million, compared with the previous
year’s £46.7 million.
The company, whose revenue is strongly influenced by fuel pump
prices, saw a 2.3 pence per litre increase, which accounted for the
majority of the company’s increased turnover.
“[We] intend to maintain the company’s market leading position
in vehicle related services, and to support this are continually
reviewing market strategies,” the company’s directors said.