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Profits jump at HR Owen as focus on used cars pays off

Half-year results for luxury car dealer HR Owen show a 23.2% rise in pre-tax profit on turnover which increased 4.6% to £134.3m.

Earnings before tax from the first six months of 2013 were £2.6m, up from the £2.1m achieved in the first half of 2012. Total earnings per share rose to 8.3p from 7.3p.

HR Owen chairman Jon Walden said the results were “an excellent performance” which outperformed management expectations.

Chief executive Joe Doyle (pictured) said strategic initiatives were performing strongly, particularly with used car sales achieving a 24% rise in volumes to 534 units and improved margins.

Doyle added: “Additional procurement resource combined with the benefits of our new processes and multi-channel approach to advertising, together with a stronger customer proposition has begun to deliver our potential in this market. The board sees significant upside opportunity for continued growth for the group in the used car market.”

HR Owen said its new CRM system is now fully operational across all its franchises, which include Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Rolls-Royce, and improvements continue to be made in digital communications to customers.

As a result website visits have doubled and are expected to continue rising, while the dealer group has also sought to strengthen its customer engagement through holding a record number of events aimed at enabling customers to fully use and enjoy their luxury cars.

“Development also continues with related new business opportunities, in particular financial services and accident management for our customers, where we have agreed terms for supply of the service via an outsourced arrangement.

"We have also developed an online parts and accessories distribution platform which has been launched in the first phase with vintage pre-1955 Bentley parts. The board believes these initiatives will provide sound foundations for future growth in the business,” said Doyle.

He added: “We continue to invest in all areas of the business and have further strategic initiatives in aftersales commencing in the second half of the year and beyond."

In July HR Owen opened its third Lamborghini showroom in Pangbourne after being awarded the supercar franchise for Berkshire.

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