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Inchcape confident for growth in pre-close trading statement

Inchcape has increased pre-tax profits by 9% in the five months ended May 31, 2008.

The group announced in its pre-close trading statement that total sales were up 6.3% over the same period. Sales from continuing operations were up 6.2%. Group like for like sales were 1.4% ahead of the prior year.

Inchcape's retail businesses in the UK achieved like for like sales growth of 3% for the five months of this year.

In a statement to the City, Inchcape said: "Despite challenging conditions in several of our markets, we continue to expect to report progress in 2008."

Inchcape's sales in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong are in line with expectations. European sales were below last year’s levels, with Belgium struggling particularly. Sales in emerging markets are more than 50% up on 2007.

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