PENDRAGON reported a healthy increase in profitability in its interim results, published today.
Underlying profit before tax rose by £3.9 million to £44.2 million, while like-for-like gross profit in its used car operation increased by 6.2 per cent to £4.7 million.
Other financial highlights include:
· Underlying earnings per share up 0.2p (+9.5 per cent), from 2.1p to 2.3p.
· Interim dividend of 0.7p per share following Pendragon’s 2015 final dividend of the same amount.
· Share buyback programme of £20 million underway with £2.6 million purchased and cancelled so far.
Chief executive Trevor Finn said: ‘The business continues to perform strongly as we achieved a near doubling of profitability in three years. The underlying trends in the aftersales and used vehicle markets provide a strong tailwind.
‘Our performance is due to our focused strategy, the online growth of our brands and strong processes, helped by the launch of ‘‘Move Me Closer’’ and ‘‘Sell Your Car’’.
‘While the UK’s decision to exit the EU has caused some uncertainty, to date we have not experienced any noticeable change in our customers’ behaviour and, based on discussions with our franchise partners, we do not anticipate any material effect on new vehicle pricing as a result of exchange rates. We anticipate our performance for 2016 will be in line with expectations.’
Pendragon says its strategy is focused on the four pillars of choice, value, service and convenience. Web visits to its brands Evanshalshaw.com and Stratstone.com increased by 13.1 per cent in the period, with 21.6 million visitors over the 12 months to June 30, 2016.
The company reported encouraging progress from its ‘Sell Your Car’ service and said that eight additional sites were in progress as part of its sales footprint expansion.
Pendragon represents more than 20 brands in the UK and the USA.
The firm’s largest representation is with Ford, closely followed by Vauxhall where the company is the largest retailer in the UK.
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