Results announced by the car retailer will not be buoyed in 2009 either, as Inchcape announced a ‘very weak’ performance is expected for 2009.
Chief exec Andre Lacroix used the announcement of the results to reveal he expects a 25-30 percent fall in new car sales in 2009.
The recovery will not come until the latter half of 2010.
The company was still profitable, though, making £108 million in 2008. It did raise money on the stock market too, by agreeing an equity issue. This will raise £220 million, and help Inchcape control debts of more than £400 million.
Inchcape wants profits to remain at three times interest payments, and to also ensure it does not need any further funding until 2012.
Interestingly, some reporters speculate that Toyota, which owns 5 per cent of Inchcape, may have supported the shares issue.
Share prices bounded up by 17 per cent, underlining the market’s positive view of the company’s results. This is despite Inchcape ruling out a share dividend payment.
Lacroix also said UK used car margins had stabilised, and March order levels were in line with expectations.