Robust third quarter at Inchcape

International car dealer Inchcape delivered an upbeat third quarter update, despite market headwinds, and said it expects the robust performance to continue for the rest of the year.

International car dealer Inchcape delivered an upbeat third quarter update, despite market headwinds, and said it expects the robust performance to continue for the rest of the year.

Revenue in the third quarter rose 4% to £1.518bn at actual currency and rose 6.8% at constant currency compared to the same period last year. Like-for-like (LFL) revenue increased by 3.2% at actual currency and 6.1% at constant currency.

Total revenue for the nine months to September 30th 2012 rose 5.4% to £4.626bn while LFL revenue increased 5.6% at actual currency.

Demand for its new cars was strong and in line with company expectations following strong demand in the premium and luxury markets. Meanwhile its used car business and aftersales activities, which represent 60% of the group's gross profit, performed well, it said.

Across its main regions UK sales were boosted by demand in the premium and luxury segments while its used cars and aftersales activities performed well.

Its European businesses delivered what it called a resilient performance in a challenging trading environment while in Asia, it recorded a strong performance in Hong Kong and Singapore. However it remains cautious regarding new vehicle margin given the increased level of competitive activities and the strength of the Japanese yen, it said.

Demand for new vehicles remained strong in Australia with industry growth of 7% in the third quarter.

Otherwise trading conditions remained challenging at its Russia and Emerging Markets segment, with competitive pressure on new car margin.

"Given our revenue, operating profit and cash performance in the first nine months of the year, we are well positioned to deliver a robust financial performance in 2012," the group said in a statement.

CJ

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