Pendragon FY profit seen 'slightly' ahead of expectations
Car dealer Pendragon said on Wednesday that full-year profit was set to be slightly ahead of market expectations following a strong end to the year.
In an update for the year to the end of December 2022, the company - which owns the Evans Halshaw and Stratstone brands - said its performance in the fourth quarter was slightly ahead of the board's expectations, with a strong underlying trading performance more than offsetting higher operating and interest cost pressures.
Trading in the quarter was driven by strong volume growth in new cars, with like-for-like volume growth of 4.6%, outperforming the retail new car market growth of 1%. Used car volumes grew 5.2% on a like-for-like basis in Q4, which Pendragon said was "a notable improvement" on the declines seen in Q3.
As a result, FY22 underlying pre-tax profit is expected to be around £57m, down from £83.0m a year earlier but slightly ahead of market expectations of £54m.
Chief executive Bill Berman said: "We closed out the year with a positive performance in the final quarter, which saw volume growth in both new and used vehicle sales. Despite the numerous challenges we have faced across our markets and in the economy at large, we performed strongly in 2022 and this shows the benefits of the improvements made across the business in recent years.
"Whilst market challenges will persist in 2023, we enter this new year with confidence and good momentum, and we look forward to making further progress against our strategic objectives."
At 0900 GMT, the shares were up 2% at 20.08p.