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Vertu confident after first year of trading

Vertu Motors has reported small pre-tax profits of £140,000 from a turnover of £677.2 million turnover from November 1 2006 to February 29, 2008.

The group said the results reflected the fact it only started trading from March 27, 2007 when it purchased the commpany it trades as, Bristol Street Motors Group.

Bristol Street new retail car volumes were up 10.6% on a like for like basis and used retail car volumes were up by 23.6% on a like for like basis.

Vertu made operating profits before exceptionals of £3.1m in its first 11 months of trading, which excluded the peak trading month of March 2007.

Vertu’s share price rose by 4.6% after the announcement of the results.

Its results show an operating cash inflow of £21.9m and a strong balance sheet with £51.5m of freehold and long leasehold property. Gearing is at 28.1% as of February 29, 2008.

Robert Forrester, chief executive, said: "I am pleased to report that since our flotation in December 2006, the group has made rapid progress towards its strategic goals of acquiring UK motor retail businesses and delivering organic profit improvements from these businesses.

"We are now the tenth largest motor retailing group by turnover and have fully integrated all the acquired businesses in terms of systems, processes and management."

Forrester said that performance improvements that have been put in place at the company over their first year of trading are now gaining traction.

He said: "This has resulted in a good start to the new financial year, including a March which was ahead of plan."

Vertu now operates 40 franchised and six non-franchised operations across England.

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