Pendragon sees recovery

Vehicle dealer, Pendragon, has reported a “significant turnaround” in the first half of the year as it saw improvements in both the new and used car markets.

The owner of the Stratstone and Evans Halshaw brands said the Government’s recently launched scrappage scheme had given it optimism over a recovery in the new car market.

Nottingham-based Pendragon reported underlying pre-tax profits of £8.7 million in the six months to June 30 – this is less than half the level seen a year ago, but a marked improvement on the £200 million in annual losses reported earlier this year.

Pendragon said it was benefiting from moves to cut costs, having closed a further 14 franchises in the first half of the year and kept staff numbers under constant review.

The group has already closed or sold 53 dealerships, as well as removed more than 3,000 jobs in a £60 million cost-reduction programme.

Pendragon now has 279 franchises in the UK, of which 128 trade as Stratstone and 130 as Evans Halshaw, as well as 21 truck dealerships trading under the Chatfields brand.