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Dealer group confident

Arnold Clark enjoyed a rise in turnover in 2004 to £1.6 billion compared with £1.47 billion in 2003. Pre-tax profit was up 23% at £57 million.

Chairman Sir Arnold Clark said his own group had maintained sales growth so far this year, against the overall market trend, and said: "Stripping out the impact of new acquisitions, we are probably slightly down. But listening to some views on sales I am confident everything will be okay."

Arnold Clark acquired 10 new outlets last year, bringing its total to 134 and expanding outside Scotland in Bradford and Luton. The group has £42m of cash for further acquisitions.

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