Pendragon motors ahead as car sales hold up

Thursday, Apr 29 2010 by
Pendragon motors ahead as car sales hold up

Pendragon Plc (LON:PDG) , the motor retail group, today reported that aftersales profitability had risen by 3.9% in the first three months of the year, with sales of used cars up by 14% and margins up 12%.

In a market update, the company – which owns the Stratstone, Evans Halshaw and Chatfields outlets – said it thought that used car margins would remain stable and that used car volumes would to grow during the rest of the year. Excluding scrappage, new retail car sales were up 4.3%, outperforming the market, which fell 1.5%, excluding scrappage, during the first quarter.

Pendragon said that sales of premium cars were continuing to demonstrate the "V" shaped recovery profile. On that basis, it said it was “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for 2010 and expected profitability to be in line with expectations. The company’s shares were trading up by more than 4% at 31.75p on the news.

Separately today, Pendragon’s chairman Sir Nigel Rudd said he had finally taken the decision to step down from the company later this year. Sir Nigel took up his role 20 years ago when Pendragon was demerged from Williams Holdings plc. Plans for him to step down had been scuppered in recent years because of financial turmoil and challenging trading conditions. However, today he said that the trading position of the company had improved to such an extent that now was an appropriate time for him to hand over the reigns.

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Pendragon PLC is an automotive online retailer. The Company's principal market activities are the retailing of used and new vehicles and the service and repair of vehicles (aftersales). Its segments are Stratstone, which consists of its vehicles, truck and commercial vans brand, including the sale of new and used motor cars, motorbikes, trucks and vans, together with associated aftersales activities; Evans Halshaw, which consists of its volume brand, including the sale of new and used motor vehicles and commercial vans; US Motor Group, which consists of its retail operations in California in the United States, including the sale of new and used motor cars; Pinewood, which consists of its activities as a dealer management systems provider; Leasing, which consists of its contract hire and leasing activities; Quickco, which consists of its wholesale parts distribution businesses, and Central, which represents its head office function and includes all central activities. more »

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