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HR Owen wants rid of Volvo sites

HR Owen has said it is in negotiations to dispose of its two Volvo dealers in the company’s half year result statement.

The announcement comes after the group said it had entered into discussions to sell its BMW sites last week. It expects the deals for the sites to be completed before the end of the year.

Turnover from continuing operations was up 33% to £78.9 million in the first six months of the year. Operating profit was £605,000 in the first half of 2006, but increased to £1.68m over the same period this year.

Profits from continuing operations, before exceptional items, increased to £1.2m. Group profits before tax an exceptional items went up to £1.9m compared to £0.2m over the same period in 2006.

Profit after tax was down to £0.6 million compared to £1.0m in 2006.

HR Owen said the results for the first six months reflected its strategy to concentrate on the company’s specialist division. Following the successful disposal of its BMW and Volvo sites, the group will be focussing on its Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Rolls-Royce sites.

HR Owen started sales of the new Bugatti in January and delivered 12 cars.

Rolls-Royce also continued to provide a good result. In July, the new Phantom Drophead Coupe was introduced and HR Owen has pre-sold its entire allocation for the first two years.

Ferrari performed well ahead of expectations, with all models forward sold.

Maserati sales have continued to increase year on year, with the new Quattroporte. The group is waiting for first deliveries of the new Granturismo.

HR Owen’s Lamborghini franchises in London and Manchester suffered from product shortages in the first five months. However, the group said it still recorded a good performance.

Alfa Romeo commenced its first full year with sales slower than expected, but new model introductions have generated an encouraging order book.

HR Owen is planning to build a new Ferrari and Maserati aftersales unit in north London. It will also be building a second Bugatti showroom in Stockport adjacent to the Lamborghini business to cover the north of England.

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