INCHCAPE today announced a three per cent rise in group revenue to £3.1bn.
In a trading update to the London Stock Exchange, the independent multi-brand automotive distributor and retailer said trading for the four months to April 30 was up three per cent in both actual and constant currency.
It also said a new £100m share buyback would be completed over 2019.
Stefan Bomhard, group chief executive, said: ‘I am pleased with our performance over the first four months. We continued to grow revenue and trading is in line with our expectations.
‘Distribution, which comprised more than 90 per cent of our profit in 2018, saw good revenue growth across most markets, most notably Asia, where growth was led by Singapore, and Europe.
‘The continued integration of the new Central America operations was a further benefit. However, as expected, the impact of temporary Subaru supply constraints in Australia offset the growth elsewhere in distribution and has had an associated margin impact.
‘Retail’s continued strength in Russia over the period, driven by Ignite, was somewhat offset by expected sales weakness in UK and Australia retail. Encouragingly, and as a consequence of the actions we have taken, profit across these two more challenging retail markets has been broadly stable year-on-year, and we are confident this will be maintained for the rest of the year.’
However, he added that Inchcape would be shedding its two loss-making Honda and Mitsubishi retail sites in Australia for £11m.
The group expects to release its half-year results to June 30 on July 25.