Robert Forester, Vertu Motors chief executive, told shareholders at the dealer group’s AGM: "Since March, new car and used car markets have been under pressure in the UK as has been widely reported.
"The group was successful in achieving its new car manufacturer targets at the end of June without recourse to pre-registration activity and as a result significant volume bonuses were earned."
Forrester said Vertu has seen consistent volume growth in the used car market, but decline in residual values and consumer downturn had led to a "softening in overall used car margins". He also said the group’s aftersales and fleet departments "continue to performing well".
Forrester said: "The outlook remains challenging as a variety of external factors impact the sector. These include exchange rate movements and their impact on the ability of manufacturers to support the demand for new vehicles, the availability and pricing of consumer finance and the general weak consumer environment which appears to be intensifying."
Expansion is still on the cards for Vertu, as Forrester believes the group's strong balance sheet and tight control of working capital as "attractive opportunities arise from challenging markets".
Forrester said: "While confident the group will continue to outperform the market and gain market share, the board will continue to monitor the short term outlook."