Pendragon has issued a trading update which reveals its new and used car sales were up in the first quarter.
It said aftersales turnover declined marginally, in line with car parc reduction, but gross profit margin improved by 280 basis points assisted by the wider roll-out of the Vehicle Health Check programme and other initiatives.
Used car volumes continue to perform strongly, up 15.6% on a like for like basis, significantly outperforming a flat market according to the latest available market data from Experian. Used car margins have remained stable during the quarter.
Excluding scrappage, like for like new retail car sales for the key brands it represents in Q1 were up 9.1% compared to a market increase of 7.5%.
It continued: "We are pleased to report an improvement in the key business metrics across the group during the first quarter and expect this to be maintained during the year.
"As planned, the performances in the used and aftersales segments have been strong in the first quarter and continue to be the key growth opportunities for the group.
"As expected, performance in new cars is in line with the market and this is expected to continue during 2011."