Pendragon PLC (LON:PDG) saw its shares go into reverse on Wednesday after the motor dealer reported a bigger drop in first-quarter new car revenue than the national average.
In an interim management statement including figures for the three months to March 31, the FTSE small cap car firm said new car revenue in the period dropped by 13.3%, worse than 12.4% fall in national new vehicle registrations.
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The group said its new vehicle gross profit fell by 17.6% in the quarter versus a record same quarter performance in 2017, while used vehicle gross profit fell by 16.5%.
Pendragon added that its first quarter used vehicle revenue fell by 1.5% due to a reduction in nearly new vehicle sales, though excluding new vehicles, used vehicle revenue grew by 3.1% in the period against a record comparative period.
The company – whose brands including Evans Halshaw and Strastone - said it expects an acceleration in used car revenue in the remainder of the year due to the opening of new used car sites.
Pendragon’s chief executive Trevor Finn commented: "Our profitability in the first quarter of the year is in line with our expectations against a backdrop of an exceptionally strong comparative in the prior year and our expectations of the market conditions in the first quarter being realised.”
The firm also said the disposal of its US business ad premium brand franchises is proceeding as per plan.
In late morning trading, Pendragon shares were down 2.9% at 29p.