Cazoo Holdings, a U.K.-based online seller of used cars, announced strong performance for its first-half 2021 financial results on Tuesday (Sept. 28), registering a 521% year-on-year increase in revenue.
The company, which purchases and refurbishes vehicles prior to selling them on the internet, sold over 20,000 cars during the first half of the year, a significant jump from the 4,084 it sold during the first half of 2020 when the pandemic started.
Revenue simultaneously increased 521% to £248 million (the equivalent of $335.6 million), indicating that digital car sales for online platforms, fueled by the pandemic, are still going strong. This combination led to a gross profit of £11 million during the period analyzed; gross margin was up by 9% year on year due to increased sales and revenue.
“Our gross profit per unit grew substantially during the first half, up £670 year on year, as a result of continued operational improvements,” Alex Chesterman, OBE, founder and CEO of Cazoo, said in a press release emailed to PYMNTS. “We expect operational efficiencies to continue to drive further gross margin improvement, and we remain on track to achieve revenue approaching $1 billion in 2021.”
The firm is now valued at $8 billion, following its recent trading debut on the NYSE after completing a $7 billion business merger with special-purpose acquisition company Ajax I.
Prior to its IPO, the company raised $310 million in October 2020, increasing the total investment raised for the used-car platform to about $580 million at the time.
In the company’s S-1 filing registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of the IPO earlier this year, the company detailed the significant market opportunities in the used car space and the progress it had made in getting consumers to purchase used cars online.
UK and European Expansion
The firm made its first step toward European expansion in February of this year with the purchase of Germany’s leading car subscription service, Cluno. This came after the firm acquired U.K.-based car subscription service Drover in December 2020 to launch its U.K. subscription service.
And as it drives forward with U.K. growth and European expansion, the online car retailer announced two more acquisitions this month: the purchase of Cazana, one of the leading data insights platforms in Europe’s automotive industry, and that of SMH Fleet Solutions (SMH), one of the U.K.’s leading vehicle preparation, logistics and storage businesses. The firm also has plans to launch in France later this year.
Further reading: Car Retailer Cazoo Acquires SMH Fleet Solutions
In August, the London-based platform launched a car-buying service, “allowing consumers to get an instant value for any car online, sell it to Cazoo for a guaranteed price and even have it picked up from their home,” the press release noted.
The company has also collaborated with the European open banking platform TrueLayer on open banking payments and refunds, making it easier for customers to order and pay for products online as well as issue faster refunds, starting this month.
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