Pendragon boost as UK new car sales shift gear

Pendragon said retail volumes in the UK were up by almost a fifth. Picture: Alan Watson
Pendragon said retail volumes in the UK were up by almost a fifth. Picture: Alan Watson
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Car dealership Pendragon, which owns the Evans Halshaw and Stratstone chains, is cruising towards stronger profits as new car sales continue to rise in Britain, bucking the negative trend across much of Europe.

Shares in the group jumped 3.3 per cent following yesterday’s upbeat statement, while their value has more than doubled in the past year amid strong signs of recovery on car forecourts.

It said retail volumes in the UK were up by almost a fifth for the three months to the end of September, with a 15.6 per cent increase in new car sales for the year to date.

The group told investors: “Profitability in 2013 is expected to be materially ahead of expectations for the full year and we are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for 2014.”

In 2012, underlying profits before tax were up 18 per cent to £36.4 million.

Numis Securities upgraded its full-year estimate from £40m to £44m yesterday, having previously pencilled in a £1m decline in second half profitability year-on-year.

Pendragon said its California business had also performed strongly, largely due to the success of Land Rover.