- Auto retailer Pendragon posted a fall in annual profit amid sliding sales of new cars and pressure on margins.

Pre-tax profit fell by 10.5% to £65.3m, as like-for-like revenue rose by 5.1% to £4.66bn.

Used car revenue rose by 15.3% but new care revenue fell by 4.9%.

Gross margin in the third quarter fell by 80 basis points over the prior year, due to a reduction in new and nearly-new vehicle margin, primarily in the premium sector. However, margins recovered to more normal seasonal levels in the fourth quarter, the company said.

'The group has a clear focus and direction to transform the business and double used revenue by 2021,' chief executive Trevor Finn said.

'This will be enabled by our market leading software business to provide the online and technology platform and by investment in increasing the used retail and aftersales representation points in the UK.'

'We made further progress towards our goal of doubling used vehicle revenue with growth in the period of 15%. We anticipate our performance in 2018 to be in line with expectations.'

At 8:02am: [LON:PDG] Pendragon PLC share price was +1.43p at 22.33p

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