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HR Owen counts on ongoing support

HR Owen chief executive Nick Lancaster is confident that the world’s wealthy will continue to support his specialist franchises during the economic downturn.

Lancaster spoke to AM after HR Owen announced a 22% rise in first-half operating profits to £2.2m from its dealerships, which represent supercar brands such as Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.

Turnover grew to £95.9m from £94.9m.

“Nobody anywhere is ever unscathed by the economic conditions at the moment, but our whole raison d’être of getting out of marginal situations caused by the cost base of London and getting into niche products was well thought out for survival,” he said.

Lancaster believes the second half of the year will be tough, particularly among domestic customers. Nevertheless, he expects continued business from HR Owen’s exceptionally wealthy non-UK customers with homes in London.

"Money is not as difficult to find providing we have the product that the customers want," he said.

“There’s a lot of product coming from manufact-urers that we represent and we expect to do exceptionally well.

“These are new products that will be more efficient and will undoubtedly expand the range.”

Sales of its Volvo dealerships to management is expected to be completed this year.

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