Evans Halshaw Car Store
A rise in used car sales has helped Pendragon PLC get off to a strong start to the year as pre-tax profits increased by 12.7% to £47.1m.
The Nottingham-headquartered group, which has over 220 sites across the UK and US, was boosted by a rise in used car sales which rose by 20.9% during the six months ended 30 June.
This helped offset a 4.3% fall in new car sales which reflected the industry trend.
Pendragon has also been boosted by the success of its online sales business.
The group’s UK Motor business is now supported by the Evanshalshaw.com and Stratstone.com websites.
These brands continue to grow and generated 26 million visits for the 12 months to June 2017.
Chief executive Trevor Finn said: "Pendragon PLC has had a strong first half with underlying profit before tax up 9.7%.
“We are particularly pleased with our used revenue growth, up 20.9% on a like for like basis, after setting our objective at the end of 2016 to achieve at least double-digit growth in used revenue in 2017 and our aspiration over five years to double our used vehicle revenue.
“During the second half, we will make further adjustments to our pricing to maintain our new higher level of volume and enrich the margin. The used vehicle volumes will be driven by capacity being installed as part of our used vehicle strategy.
“Whilst we have seen some of the expected decline in new vehicle gross profit, this has been more than offset by higher activity in the aftersales sector which provides our greatest share of gross profit and margin.
“Our future growth is focused on increasing profitability of used vehicles and aftersales within the UK and US Motor businesses, geographical expansion in the US Motor and Software businesses and further growth in our Leasing businesses.
“While we are expecting harder comparatives in the second half we still anticipate our performance for 2017 will be in line with expectations as we enhance our profitability streams further."
Pendragon’s software and leasing businesses also performed well in the first half with the software business seeing profits rise by 14.6% and leasing profits increasing by £1.6m.