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Vertu upgrades profit expectations, reports enhanced margins

Robert Forrester, Vertu Motors chief executive

Vertu Motors has increased its forecast profit before tax for the current trading year by another £5 million and reports October and November's profitability was ahead of plan.

Its profits upgrade today informed investors that its new vehicle supply since September was better than envisaged, despite the global vehicle production issues that are ongoing, and sales were at enhanced margins.

"Customer demand has remained positive, with strong future order banks in all new vehicle channels being evident," Vertu added.

In the used vehicle sector, vehicle values have plateaued but robust pricing disciplines helped to ensure above normal used car margins were retained.

Vertu said it has made progress in its response to labour shortages as indicated in its interim results, and changes to reward packages have been rolled out.

It still has a higher than normal level of job vacancies despite this having reduced in recent months.

Chief executive Robert Forrester recently told AM that Vertu is looking to expand through acquisition in the near future.

And it had introduced an online 'concierge' service to support online sales.

“We think customers will benefit, and we’ll raise our conversation ratio, with someone to talk you through the sale as you do it online. It’s something I’ve seen implemented very successfully in the US,” Forrester told AM.

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