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Pendragon says Q1 was in line with expectations

Pendragon has made good progress in the first quarter of 2013 and is performing in line with expectations, the UK's largest franchised motor retailer said this morning.

Used and new vehicle activity levels and gross profit improved in Q1 compared with the prior year, it said in a trading update to the London Stock Exchange.

While the national new car retail market increased by 11.2% in Q1, Pendragon outperformed it with UK like-for-like new retail sales climbing by 16.7%.

Pendragon said: "The indicators for the market we operate within and our underlying performance are encouraging at this stage of the year. Our strong growth in the used sector continues to be a key feature for the group and our aftersales performance remains resilient.

"The new vehicle market is showing strong growth in the period and this is benefiting both our Stratstone and Evans Halshaw business. We continue to trade in line with our expectations for the current year."

The car dealer group has continued to grow its online presence, an important growth driver for the business, with the number of website visitors to, Evans and increasing by more than 20% during the quarter

On 3 May 2013, the refinancing of the group was completed. The new facility consists of a £175m seven-year bond and a £145m four-year revolving credit facility.

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