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Vertu Motors outperforms market expectations

Pre-tax profits leaped 47% in its first half of the year at AIM listed dealer group Vertu Motors, headed by Robert Forrester.

The figure jumped to £2.8m from £1.9m in the six months to August, despite revenues dipping to £401.3m from £423.5m.

Performance was boosted by strong used car sales, up 3.7%, and the scrappage scheme, which generated 1,686 sales for Vertu in the period.

Robert ForresterChief executive Forrester is upbeat that Vertu, which trades as Bristol Street Motors, will beat its own forecasts in the second half.

Its September new car registrations were 16.3% higher than last year.

However Forrester expects the end of scrappage and the VAT increase to challenge the new car market in 2010.

Vertu has a £20m pot for acquisitions and Forrester hopes to announce another takeover in the next few months.

It has already completed a couple of takeovers of struggling dealers this year.

> Analysts notes on Vertu Motors

- Brewins

- Panmure Gordon

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