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HR Owen warns of falling demand in luxury car market

Supercar dealer group HR Owen has warned its shareholders that demand for luxury cars has dropped in recent weeks and it now expects its second half-year's trading to be at a loss.

The London-based group, whose franchises include Bentley, Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Maserati, said in a statement: "Demand conditions in the luxury car market have deteriorated in recent weeks.

"In addition, the supply of certain important new model cars, for which customer
orders have been received, has been adversely affected and will impact the final quarter of 2011."

Its board expects that the company will now record a small loss at the trading level for the second half of the year, but remains satisfied that the group will record a trading profit for the full year more in line with last year's performance.

"We continue to enjoy a strong balance sheet with positive cash balances ahead of budget," it added.

The announcement marks a tough beginning for Joe Doyle, its new chief executive, who has taken over the helm following the exit of Andy Duncan after a year in the post.

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