BRITAIN’S biggest listed car dealer, Pendragon, saw its profits drive ahead 98.8 per cent in the first half of the year with increased online visits helping push up used and new car sales.
The company said eight million people visited its website in the first six months of 2014, a 16.2 per cent rise on the same period of last year, also helping to bolster its aftersales services.
Pendragon, which runs more than 250 retail outlets and trades under the names Stratstone, Evans Halshaw and Quicks, saw pre-tax profit rise to £33.2 million in the six months to 30 June. Chief executive Trevor Finn said: “The internet transformation of our business continues to yield sizeable benefits for the group.”
The group has focused on improving its web presence in recent months, with high-definition videos of selected vehicles allowing customers to peruse online before often visiting a dealership in person to make their purchase.
Underlying revenue at the dealership rose by 2.7 per cent to £2.07 billion and the firm said it expected its full-year performance to be “comfortably in line with expectations”.
The results are a further indication of Britain’s resurgent car market, with new vehicle sales expected to hit 2.4 million in 2014, up more than 6 per cent on last year and returning to levels seen before the 2008-9 financial crisis, after which they nose-dived.
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