Vertu Motors says it is weathering the economic challenges with confidence, with new car sales ahead of the UK market and used car sales are encouraging.
Robert Forrester, Vertu Motors CEO, said: “Vertu has continued to strengthen its management and systems and has consistently gained market share.
“We expect the market to remain challenging, but this is providing some interesting value opportunities.”
The UK’s 10th largest motor retail group in the AM100 said in a trading statement today its new car sales were down in the year ending February 28 by 16%, compared to a UK fall in registrations of 27.4%.
Reflecting the national bouyancy in the used car market Vertu’s sales from September to January were up 12% on a like-for-like basis.
“Fleet and rental companies delaying vehicle disposals, together with lower new car volumes, has helped to reduce excess used car stocks. And since the new year prices have stabilised and demand has increased leading to “an improvement in margins,” Forrester said.
Vertu’s commercial vehicle sales had been in line with the national picture, which is down 33.8% September to January.
“The group is exposed to these trends through its Ford and Iveco businesses where volumes have been below expectations.
"As a consequence, the stock of new vehicles has increased leading to higher stocking charges from the manufacturers.
"This position is likely to unwind over the next six months as manufacturers’ actions bring production into line with sales levels and corporate customers resume their buying activity.”
Vertu’s preliminary results are due on May 28. They are expected to be in line with market expectations.