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Premium-based EMH bucks trend with record half

European Motor Holdings has ridden the crest of strong premium brand sales by posting its best ever first half results, which contrast with recent figures published by some retail groups.

Fuelled by its concentration on a small number of premium brands – 34 of EMH’s 36 franchises are now held with BMW, Volkswagen and Ford’s PAG – the group has seen a 21% increase in interim operating profits to £7.9m from £6.5m last year. Turnover has risen to £281m from £242m, and in addition, it now has a cash pot of £26m.

“Our strategy continues to focus on expansion with our existing partners and opportunities exist to make compliment-ary acquisitions in the second half,” says chief executive Richard Palmer. “We look forward to further progress and have an order book which is substantially higher than last year.”

EMH’s bullish outlook contrasts with those of Reg Vardy and HR Owen, both of whom recently predicted toughening trading conditions towards the end of the year.

Palmer’s statement says EMH is still restructuring in line with its preferred partner status for Audi (west of England) and VW (north-west England and south-west London).

As a result, the sale of existing Audi businesses in Sunderland and Chester raised £2m of exceptional profit, and its Darlington VW dealership will be sold in the near future.

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