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Pendragon profits in luxury sector

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Automotive retail giant Pendragon has booked a first half pre-tax profit rise of 48% to £15.7 million, led by its luxury car outlet.

The firm's Stratstone dealership, which markets high-end marques like Ferrari, BMW and Aston Martin, which need superior car insurance coverage, reported a 20% growth in new car sales while total revenues climbed by 24.1% year-on-year.

First half gross profits for Stratstone was up to £93.9 million from £84.4 million a year earlier.

However, performance for the company's volume car retailer, Evans Halshaw - which sells brands like Citroen, Vauxhall and Ford from 127 dealerships - was sluggish, with flat profits of £123.3 million.

Pendragon said: "Total revenue has increased principally due to strong performance in new cars, with the prestige car market recovering more quickly than the volume sector."

Revenues for commercial trucks dealership Chatfields, however, fell by 31%.

The company said the fall "further illustrates the slow recovery in the new and used truck and commercial vehicle sector".

© Press Association 2010