- Digital automotive marketplace Auto Trader upgraded its revenue forecast for the full-year Thursday after reporting increase in pre-tax profits in the first half of the year supported by record growth from its retailer products.

The company said the 'strong first half' meant revenue growth for the full year would likely exceed previous guidance, with average revenue per retailer forecourt (ARPR) per month expected to top expectations despite the anticipated stock headwind.

Product would continue to be the largest contributor to growth in ARPR, but growth for the full year would be lower than that of the first half 'due to a strong second half comparative,' the company added.

For the six months to 30 September, profit before tax rose 9% to £114.5m and revenue rose 7% to £176.8m.

The upbeat performance was driven by record growth from both new and existing retailer products, which had been bolstered by the company's dealer finance product launched April, along with increasing penetration of advanced and premium packages.

Average Revenue Per Retailer forecourt (ARPR) per month rose to £1,826 from £1,674 previously.

The company forecast total operating costs for the year to increase at a rate of low to mid-single digit.

'We strengthened our market leading position with our audience of car buyers, by continuing to focus on providing the best car buying and selling experience in the UK. We do this by providing the best choice of cars, free valuations, extensive reviews and most recently showing finance options, so that car buyers can understand the monthly cost of owning their next vehicle,' said Trevor Mather, Chief Executive Officer of Auto Trader Group.

'Despite a more challenging automotive market, we see many examples of our customers achieving strong results in their used car businesses by using Auto Trader services which help them to select, price and most effectively advertise their vehicles.'

At 9:03am: [LON:AUTO] Auto Trader Group Plc share price was +16.45p at 455.55p

Story provided by