Vertu hopes to post strong profits

Leading car dealership Vertu Motors is hoping to deliver positive half-year financial results, boosted by an increase in sales of both new and second hand cars.

The UK's eighth largest motor dealership expects profits for the first six months of the year to be "materially" ahead.

During the five months to July, like-for-like sales volumes of new cars jumped by 6.7%, while used car sales shot up 5.2%. In addition, shares rose 6%.

According to Vertu, sales accelerated despite the Government's car scrappage scheme ending in March. The 'cash for bangers' scheme led to a drop in demand for new cars.

However, this in turn has boosted the used car sector, as more second hand vehicles are now available.

With drivers trying to maintain their existing motors, demand for car parts is also increasing. Vertu said its parts division also performed strongly, contributing to its overall after sales business.

Service and bodyshop sales lifted 2.4% and 2.1% on a like-for-like basis, while cost control is also supporting profit margins, said Vertu.

The group, which launched in 2006 with aims to grow by acquisition, snapped up another eight outlets in the half year.

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