Solid result in spite of corona challenges

In 2020, one in four of the cars sold in Nic. Christiansen Group were chargeable. In spite of the corona pandemic, the group delivered its best result before tax since 2011.

Nic. Christiansen Group achieved a profit before tax of DKK 93.5 million. As expected before the Covid-19 pandemic, it is lower than the record year 2019. But the result is the second best since 2011. Revenue was 7.2 billion in 2020 against DKK 8.8 billion DKK in 2019. However, the 2020 turnover was almost one billion DKK above the 2018 level. Thus, Nic. Christiansen remains on the growth track.

“It is a satisfactory result. 2020 offered very difficult circumstances for both the automotive industry and the whole community with the Covid-19 pandemic. When we can perform at that level in such a difficult year, it testifies that we have a strong and robust core. It is a strong foundation for our digital development and for our sales of even more chargeable cars,” says CEO Niels Vrist Bertelsen.

Every fourth car sold was an electric or plug-in hybrid car

In 2020, the green transition could be felt at Nic. Christiansen Group, where customers' demand for chargeable cars increased significantly. Every fourth car sold by Nic. Christiansen Group in 2020 was an electric or plug-in hybrid car. In that development, Hyundai Kona played a key role with Nic. Christiansen Group. The car also became the third best-selling electric car in Denmark.

“We are only at the beginning of a far greater development. The coming years will change the entire automotive industry. Development has accelerated in Denmark with the new car taxes. We expect the development to continue in the coming years,” says CEO Niels Vrist Bertelsen.

Across the car market, a number of OEM's are increasingly ambitious when it comes to lowering the climate impact of their vehicles. CEO Niels Vrist Bertelsen expects this to be reflected in the group's total car sales.

“The future has begun. We have many exciting products on the way, which we have high expectations for. Among other things, the electric car Hyundai Ioniq 5, which we are sure will be well received in the Nordics and which with its unique design and super fast charging time is really a game changer. I would not be surprised if we already in 2021 will see that every third car that we sell is an electric or plug-in hybrid car. And within the foreseeable future, I am convinced that electric and plug-in hybrid cars will account for more than half of our sales,” says CEO Niels Vrist Bertelsen.

Hyundai and Bayern AutoGroup deliver strong results

Nic. Christiansen Group sold 29,900 cars in 2020. A decrease from the record year 2019, when 35,000 units were sold, but above the 2018 sales of 29,500 units. Hyundai and Bayern AutoGroup in particular, which is an authorized BMW / Mini dealer chain, stood out in this year's car sales.

Hyundai's strong Nordic market position, which is based on a chargeable model program, made a solid contribution to the Group's bottom line in 2020.

This is also the case for Bayern AutoGroup, with good basic operations in the individual stores. In recent years, BMW has delivered on the green transition, and it has been well received by customers.

Awaiting new models from Jaguar and Landrover

British Car Import, which imports Jaguar and Land Rover, is part of a premium market throughout the Nordic region, which is experiencing increasing competition. Where the Jaguar I-PACE electric car was without strong competition in the green part of the premium segment in 2019, competition intensified significantly in 2020. As expected, this affected the financial results of the group's activities with the two brands in 2020.

Jaguar and Land Rover are popular brands among the customers. The year's deficit in both import and sales stages is mainly due to the introduction of a number of models being delayed. However, Nic. Christiansen Group has great confidence in the two brands.

“With an upcoming very ambitious green model program for Jaguar and Land Rover, we expect strong sales as soon as the cars are delivered to the Nordic market. We believe, for example, that Jaguar can gain an even stronger position in the market. Not least with the announcement that Jaguar from 2025 will only sell electric cars,” says Niels Vrist Bertelsen.

NCG Finans maintained a satisfactory level of activity and earnings. SimplyGo, Nic. Christiansen Group's online platform for short-term rental and leasing of cars, has delivered a profit and shows that digital solutions and short-term leasing are in demand.

The group geared for a digital future

A main focus in 2020 has been to strengthen both the digital customer experience and the group's IT structure. It proved its worth when Covid-19 limited physical customer advice in the stores. The group is working on simplifying the cross-cutting IT structure and in September 2020 introduced cross-cutting competence centers, which will ensure coherence and higher quality.

“We will continue the significant investments in the digital customer experience and in making the IT structure in Nic. Christiansen Group simple, efficient, scalable and agile. This is the key to us also being in a good position in the future,” says Niels Vrist Bertelsen.

Generational change initiated

For Nic. Christiansen Group also marks a historic milestone in 2020. Birthe Christensen, daughter of the founder Nic. Christiansen, and thus the second generation in the company, resigns from the board. In future, the owners will be represented by Camilla Avlbjerg Christiansen and Carina Avlbjerg Christiansen, who are the third generation.

“The company's DNA, family values ​​and ownership continue unchanged, but of course with third generation views on future challenges. We have been on the board since 2013 and we are ready for the responsibility,” says Carina Avlbjerg Christiansen.

The sisters emphasize that Nic. Christiansen Group's skilled employees and management are operating in a changing market. The role of the family is to help secure the company's strategic foundation.

“Nic. Christiansen Group stands for orderliness, ambition, unity and passion. These values ​​are the compass of our ownership. We are proud of the company and the results that every single employee has contributed in a truly exceptional year. It gives us a strong belief in the future,” says Camilla Avlbjerg Christiansen.