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Vertu Motors shares lower as profits ease amid “‘tougher trading” for motor industry

We have closed what turned out to be a more challenging year for the sector, with the business in a strong position,” said Robert Forrester, Vertu chief executive
car dealership
Vertu shares fell 4.9%

Vertu Motors Plc (LON:VTU) shares fell on Wednesday as full year financial results with lower profit and a warning over a ‘tougher trading environment’.

Profit (adjusted) before tax, in the twelve months ended 28 February 2018, amounted to £28.6mln down from £31.5mln in the preceding year. Revenue for the year came in at £2.79bn, compared to £2.8bn in 2017.

"We have closed what turned out to be a more challenging year for the sector, with the business in a strong position,” said Robert Forrester, Vertu chief executive.

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“We have been deliberately cautious on the acquisition front as pricing moved away from our investment valuation metrics. 

“This trend is beginning to reverse and potential acquisition opportunities are increasing.”

Forrester added: “We remain very focused on capital allocation and continue to make progress on realising surplus property assets and managing the dealership portfolio.”

The company noted that it paid out £11.1mln to shareholders during the year, between share buy backs and dividends, and it sees value in continuing a share buy-back programme. The full year dividend increased by 7.1% to 1.5p per share.

In London, Vertu shares were down 2.45p or 4.9% to change hands at 47.45p.

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