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Inchcape reports 'better than expected' half-year results

Inchcape plc, the international automotive services group, has this morning announced positive financial results for the half-year to June 30.

Operating profit is up by 32.3% at £90.9m and profit before tax up 33.9% at £88.9m

The group said it had seen growth in all core markets with market leadership maintained in Greece, Hong Kong and Singapore. Singapore and Australia had achieved record unit sales.

In the UK, retail operating profits are up over 20.0%.

Peter Johnson, group chief executive of Inchcape, says: ''The year has started much better than expected, with a significant increase in profits in all of our core markets.

''Our continued profit growth is testament to the effectiveness of our strategy of building partnerships with selected manufacturers in, or adjacent to, our core markets. Our geographic spread, in particular, remains an important factor in supporting the quality and sustainability of our earnings.

''In addition to achieving a strong operational performance, we have continued to further invest and develop our businesses. In UK Retail we have bought or opened seven dealerships. In Greece and the Balkans we are expanding our Retail footprint and facilities. In Singapore we are embarking on a significant expansion of our aftersales facilities. In Finland and the Baltics the award of the Land Rover import and distribution rights expands our presence in this increasingly important market area.

''We have once again demonstrated the cash generative qualities of the group and are therefore in an excellent position to take advantage of investment opportunities, which are consistent with the group’s strategy.''

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