Financial reports

Zenith delivers resilient performance against challenging economic backdrop

31 / 07 / 23  |  Group

Zenith, the UK’s leading independent leasing, fleet management and vehicle outsourcing business, today published its annual financial results for the year ended 31 March 2023. Despite the continuing economic and market challenges, the award-winning Leeds-based company increased turnover by 16.8% to £688.1m (2022: £589.1m) and delivered another record EBITDA of £79.4m[1] (2022: £74.7m).

Zenith’s diverse business model, addressing business and consumer markets, has continued to prove resilient, driving positive outcomes across the Group’s three divisions. This includes solid progress on the Group’s vision to decarbonise the UK vehicle parc by eliminating tailpipe emissions, with the proportion of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in the funded fleet growing to over 32%[2], in a year that saw over 8% growth in Zenith’s funded fleet.

Tim Buchan, Chief Executive Officer, Zenith, said:

“I am proud to report that Zenith has delivered another year of record performance, with EBITDA at almost £80m[1] and the size of our funded fleet reaching an all-time high. This has been achieved while making significant investments in the business to position us for continued success over the long term.

“Once again, the fundamental resilience of our strategy and business model has come to the fore, enabling us to continue to deliver despite the testing economic backdrop. From the ongoing war in Ukraine and supply chain disruption, inflationary pressures, and interest rate uncertainty, to increases in overhead costs, there have been challenges throughout our sector for both businesses and consumers.

“Nevertheless, we have stepped up and shown how we can adapt and grow as a team to thrive, for example responding to the growing demand for company-sponsored vehicle schemes (both company car and salary sacrifice), as companies and their employees seek to take advantage of Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax incentives.  At the same time, we have not faltered in our vision to decarbonise the UK vehicle parc by eliminating tailpipe emissions. Over 32%[2] of our funded fleet is already electric, and 47%[2] of the current order book is for battery electric vehicles.

“Our success this year was recognised by Fleet News, which named us as its Leasing Company of the Year in our category[3]. I would like to thank all our incredible people for the day-in, day-out support they give to our customers. And to thank our customers and partners – long standing and new – who place their trust and confidence in Zenith every day.”

Financial highlights
  • EBITDA increased to £79.4m[1] (2022: £74.7m).
  • Turnover increased by 16.8% to £688.1m (2022: £589.1m).
  • Gross profit increased by 7.9% to £147.0m[1] (2022: £136.2m).
  • Order bank of over 12,000[2] vehicles, underpinning Zenith’s future growth.
  • ZenAuto moved into profit[4], with the fleet growing to over 11,000 vehicles.
  • Increased securitisation facilities by £250m to £975m and extended to November 2025.
Operational highlights
  • Total fleet (funded and managed) grew by 3.9% to 168,292 vehicles (2022:162,041) despite new car registrations declining to their lowest level since 1992.
  • Funded fleet grew by 8.4% to 76,034 vehicles (2022: 70,155), with the percentage of BEV in the funded fleet growing to 32%[2] (2022: 19%).
  • Created 170 new jobs in our local communities in the UK, a 14% YOY growth in total employees.
  • The UK government’s commitment to maintain Benefit-in-Kind tax at low levels until 2028, and the new zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, underpins the Zenith strategy.
  • Completed the first Zenith Census to better understand the diversity of our people.
  • Won Fleet News Leasing Company of the Year (over 20,000 vehicles) award.
  • Launched our first EVXperience report, the UK’s largest ever survey of BEV drivers.
  • Leadership board changes:
    – Martin Holland is stepping down as Deputy CFO, being replaced by two new non- Leadership Board roles with Nicola Brown as Group Finance Director and Sarah Thompson as Corporate Finance Director and Head of Investor Relations.
    – John Tracy, CEO of the Consumer division, is leaving to return to the USA with Andrew Kirby assuming his responsibilities, in addition to his existing role as CEO of Zenith’s rental business.
  • Successful compliance with new consumer duty.

[1] Excluding the adjustment relating to the reassessment of residual values on funded fleet and exceptional items.

[2] Excluding managed fleet and commercial vehicles.

[3] For leasing companies with over 20,000 vehicles.

[4] Breakeven on an EBITDA basis, before exceptional items.

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