Pendragon has achieved a 15.2% rise in new vehicle gross profit in the first quarter of 2016.
The dealer group’s interim statement to the London Stock Exchange shows no financial data, but states that like for like gross profit increased across all its main vehicle sectors.
First quarter underlying profit before tax increased by 8.7% overall. Aftersales gross profit was 1.2% ahead, while used vehicle gross profit was up 4.2%.
The statement said: “New gross profit on a like for like basis increased by 15.2% in the period, largely as a result of margin improvement from Evanshalshaw.com. We are not expecting to maintain this level of growth in new gross profitability in the remaining part of the year, as we expect the new vehicle market to operate at more moderate levels of growth.”
The statement revealed that online visits to Stratstone.com and Evanshalshaw.com increased by 18.5% in Q1. Pendragon has also opened, or is due to open, new dealerships in Bristol, Norwich and Peterborough, all new territories, trading under its Evans Halshaw Car Store business which offers a click and collect-style used car purchase service branded Move Me Closer.
Trevor Finn, Pendragon’s chief executive, said the profit increase is testament to Pendragon’s continued delivery of its strategy.
“We remain focussed on initiatives which provide choice, value, service and convenience to our customers. Many of our initiatives are orientated around online consumer activity, from research of vehicles to the nationwide availability of a vehicle.
“We are expecting to see growth in profitability across aftersales, used and new for the full year as we continue to benefit from favourable market conditions and further implement our winning retail initiatives.
“We are expecting the group to perform in line with expectations for the full year."
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