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Record margins reported by Inchcape Retail

Inchcape Retail UK has reported it achieved a record return on sales of 2.8% in 2012 following continued focus on margins and overheads.

The dealer group increased sales by 3.6% from £2.02bn to £2.1bn. On a like-for-like basis sales were £100,000 up at £2.08bn.

Trading profit rose by 8.4% year on year to £58m, and trading margin rose to a company record 2.8% from the prior year's 2.6%.

Inchcape Retail UK has scale operations in the core regions of the South East, Midlands, North and North East of England with a streamlined portfolio of 117 retail centres focused on luxury and premium brands.

Group chief executive Andre Lacroix said Inchcape believes the UK car industry will continue its gradual recovery in 2013 driven by affordable consumer finance and increased level of promotional activities.

"We are well positioned to outperform the industry as we stay focused on delivering a superior customer service. We will leverage the exciting pipeline of new models launched by our brand partners, including the new Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Jaguar F Type, MINI Paceman, Mercedes Benz A-Class and S-Class relaunches and the Porsche Cayman.

"We continue to expect to deliver a solid performance in the UK in 2013."

Inchcape's global automotive distribution and retail businesses grew sales by 4.4% to £6.1bn, and profit before tax and exceptional items rose 10% to £250.3m.

For Inchcape's full stock market announcement click here.

At the heart of Inchcape's operations

Lacroix added: "The automotive industry is not widely recognised for the quality of its customer service, so the fact that we are single-mindedly focused on being the world's most customer-centric automotive group is our number one source of competitive advantage. The key tool that we use to ensure that every customer receives consistently superior customer service is our proprietary Inchcape Advantage programme, first launched in 2007 and consistently refined and enhanced every year since then.

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