StockMarketWire.com - Car dealer Vertu Motors booked a 29% slide in first-half profit as the weak pound hurt margins and it booked one-off profits on property sales in the previous year.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through August fell to £17.3m, even as revenue rose 7.9% to £1.56bn.

When the previous year's property gains were stripped out, adjusted pre-tax profit still fell 13% to £18.1m.

Vertu Motors held its interim dividend steady at 0.55p per share.

Supply side issues in the new car market led to declining volumes, with September registrations being the lowest since 2011, the company said.

September in particular was impacted by the introduction of new EU emissions testing regulations, known as WLTP, and the company said supply issues would likely continue into early 2019.

The weak pound was still weighing on the profitability of manufacturers supplying the UK market, putting new car margins under pressure.

Demand was robust during the first half, though 'political uncertainty in the UK may create consumer uncertainty and volatility for the remainder of the financial year,' Vertu said.

'Following the September trading performance, the board anticipates that the group's full year results will be in line with expectations, as recently revised by the market,' it said.





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