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Specialist car dealer HR Owen expects to climb into profit in 2010

Supercar specialist HR Owen expects to announce significant cuts in operating losses from trading in the second half of 2009.

And it expects to return to operating profit during 2010.

In a pre-close statement, the listed car dealer group said the UK car market conditions and lack of availability of credit had affected every marque it represents in 2009.

Having posted a operating loss of £1m at the half-year point, it said, "proactive steps" have been taken to reduce costs, minimise working capital levels and exploit new income streams.

The group reported particular success in used car sales, while aftersales volumes and margins remained "at historically healthy levels," added chief executive Nick Lancaster.

HR Owen's franchises include Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Lambourghini, Bugatti and Maserati.

Its cash reserves are "substantial" and HR Owen's early surrender of its lease at the prestigious Nine Elms property in London has netted it an exceptional profit of £7.5m for its 2009 full-year results.

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