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Inchcape strengthened UK sales and margins in 2010 results

Inchcape Retail UK outperformed the market in 2010 to grow sales by 1.6%, taking revenue up to £2.09 billion.

Rigorous margin and cost management resulted in trading profit growth of 15.4% and an improvement in trading margin from 2.1% to 2.4%.

The group, which has 128 dealerships across England, grew market share by 0.1 percentage point.

Like for like sales increased by 3%, driven by market share growth and volume in new vehicles and market share growth in used vehicles, said the company.

Aftersales performed ahead of last year and as a result of Inchcape Advantage initiatives (focused on appointment desk, follow-up calls, electronic vehicle health checks and loyalty offerings) and a continued reduction in overhead costs, trading margins have increased by 0.3 percentage points to 2.4%.

Inchcape group chief executive Andre Lacroix said: “2011 will be a challenging year for the UK market with economic uncertainty compounded by a 2010 comparison which included the impact of the scrappage scheme.”

Inchcape expects to benefit from the launch of new models across various brands, including Mercedes-Benz CLS, Volkswagen EOS, Lexus CT200h, Audi A6, Range Rover Evoque and BMW X6, and will further focus on market share gains through driving improved customer traffic from its Inchcape Advantage programmes, he added.

 It also targets increased customer retention and aftersales through an upgraded customer call centre, while keeping tough controls on costs and cash.

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