Dealer group makes solid progess over year-to-date
Inchcape has reported solid progress in the first five months of the year despite a slowdown in the UK market in May and a downturn in its European operations, which also cover Belgium and Greece, in the year-to-date.
“The UK and European markets experienced a slower May after a buoyant April,” a spokesman said.
The international group posted a 9 per cent hike in headline pre-tax profit in sterling terms for the year to 31 May.
Total sales in sterling terms rose 6.3 per cent. In constant currency, which shows performance unaffected by exchange rate fluctuations, profit and sales were in line with the same period last year.
Including acquisitions, sales from the group’s continuing operations increased 6.2 per cent in constant currency, driven by growth in the emerging markets, such as eastern Europe, Russia and China, where it is concentrating its expansion.
Like-for-like sales in constant currency grew 1.4 per cent year-on-year.
Inchcape said it had outperformed the overall UK market, which was down 3.5 per cent in May and unlikely to recover in June.
“Our UK retail business achieved like-for-like sales growth of 3 per cent for the first five months, outperforming the UK market by over 3 percentage points,” the spokesman claimed.
The breadth of Inchcape’s global operations means it is less vulnerable than its UK rivals to the downturn in western European economies.
This was highlighted by its constant currency sales in emerging markets soaring 50 per cent in the first five months of the year due to “market growth and our recent acquisitions”.