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Inchcape confident of full year prospects

International motor retailer Inchcape said this morning it is in a sound financial position and its full year prospects look promising.

During the first quarter, its UK retail business achieved like for like sales growth of 3.5%, outperforming the UK market by over 4 percentage points.

Globally, total sales were up 6.5% in Sterling terms and in line with the same period last year in constant currency. Sales from continuing operations were up 7.2% in constant currency.

Headline pre-tax profit in Sterling terms had risen 5.7% against the same quarter last year. In constant currency, profit was in line with Q1 2007, which Inchcape said was as expected due to investment in new model launches and run-out of old models.

"The launch of a number of new models in 2008 and the associated investment will enable us to build momentum as the year progresses," says its statement to today's AGM.

"Our expectations for the full year, at constant currency, remain unchanged and we continue to look forward to the remainder of 2008 with confidence."

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