Marshall Motor Holdings is expecting a positive full year result for 2018 due to taking steps to prepare for a challenging market.
In the group’s pre-close statement, it said its half year results saw underlying profit before tax marginally ahead of the record H1 last year and it is expecting its full year results to be "at the upper end of expectations".
Marshall cited continued economic uncertainty, consumer confusion around diesel and the new vehicle supply constraints in the lead up to the implementation of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Testing Procedures (WLTP) on 1 September, 2018 as areas to remain cautious about in the second half of this year.
Marshall’s new car retail sales are under ongoing margin pressure, like-for-like used car sales were flat in the first half, but profitability increased due to its stocking strategy.
Aftersales achieved like-for-like growth in the first half of the year, although this was offset by margin pressure as a result of an increased mix of lower margin parts revenues compared with service revenues.
Daksh Gupta, Marshall Motor Holdings chief executive, said: “The group has delivered a positive performance to date against an ongoing background of a challenging UK new car market.
“We remain cautious but given our performance to date, our expected outlook for the full year is improved. With the support of our brand partners, excellent portfolio, robust operating disciplines and strong balance sheet, I am confident the group remains very well positioned for the future."
Gupta said the performance in the first half of the year had been driven by “robust trading disciplines, a tight control of discretionary costs”. The group also benefited from the closure of six loss making sites.