NEW model launches during 2008 gives Inchcape, the world’s leading car retailer, confidence for the remainder of the year, the company’s AGM has been told.
But at the same time it was announced Inchcape chairman Peter Johnson is to step down after three years in the role. He will remain in the role until a successor is found and to manage the handover.
On the business front, in the first three months of this year the company reported total sales up 6.5 per cent with sales from continuing operations up 7.2 per cent. In the UK, the company’s retail business saw like for like sales growth of 3.5 per cent, outperforming the UK market by over four percentage points.
The group’s headline pre-tax profit in sterling terms was up 5.7 per cent on the same quarter last year. In constant currency, it was in line with the same period last year, as expected given the level of investment in the launch of new models and the run out of old models in the quarter.
The group said its finances were ‘sound’ and a statement added: ‘The launch of a number of new models in 2008 and the associated investment will enable us to build momentum as the year progresses.
‘Our expectations for the full year, at constant currency, remain unchanged and we continue to look forward to the remainder of 2008 with confidence.’