StockMarketWire.com - Auto dealer Marshall Motor posted a 9% fall in first-half profit as 'challenging' market conditions lowered sales of new cars and put used car margins under pressure.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June fell to £14.8m, down from £16.2m on-year.

Revenue rose 1.8% to £1.18bn and underlying profit fell 5.3% to £15.2m.

Marshall Motor declared an interim dividend of 2.85p per share, up 33% on the previous ear.

The company's gross margin was maintained at 11.4%, with higher new vehicle margins offsetting margin pressure in used vehicles and aftersales.

'Despite challenging market conditions, the group has delivered a strong first-half unit sales performance, ahead of both the new and used car markets and underlying profit before tax in line with the board's expectations,' chief executive Daksh Gupta said.

Gupta said it was 'right to remain cautious regarding the outlook for the remainder of the year', given continued weak consumer confidence as a result of ongoing political uncertainty over Brexit.

He also cited ongoing cost headwinds for the retail sector and further potential new vehicle supply constraints in the lead up to the implementation of further emissions-related regulations on 1 September. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com