CONTINUING pressure on margins and the arrival of WLTP had an effect on Inchcape’s UK performance during the third quarter of this year, according to a trading update issued today.
Despite those factors, bosses at the global automotive distributor and retailer, which is one of the main players in the UK, remain ‘confident and excited’ about the medium-term growth prospects for the business.
In detailing its performance, Inchcape released figures for ‘actual currency’ and ‘constant currency’ – with the constant currency figures giving a truer picture, eliminating fluctuations in exchange rates.
The group reported that for the three months to the end of September, revenue had been £2.28 billion, flat year-on-year at actual currency and up two per cent at constant currency.
Distribution revenue was up by one per cent at actual currency and up three per cent at constant currency.
Retail revenue was down by one per cent at actual currency and up one per cent at constant currency.
Stefan Bomhard, pictured, group CEO, said: ‘Our revenue performance over the third quarter has been stable on the prior year, with trends consistent with our comments throughout the year. Margin pressure in our retail businesses also persisted.
‘In retail, the easing of margin pressure in the UK and Australia has been slower than we had anticipated. Market dynamics remained similar to those seen in the first half and we were also impacted in the UK by the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Testing Procedure (WLTP).
‘Given trading over the quarter, we now expect a resilient constant currency profit performance for 2018. We anticipate some easing of current market pressures in 2019. We remain confident and excited about the medium-term growth prospects for the business.’