- Auto dealer Vertu Motors said sales rose 5.2% in the first five months of the second half of its financial year, putting it on track to meet current market expectations for the full year.

On a like-for-like basis, sales for the five months through January rose 1.4%, the company added.

Services revenue jumped 14.2%, helping to offset lower volumes of new car sales.

'Whilst the outlook remains uncertain, the group continues to be very well positioned to take full advantage of tougher markets which will, as has been the case in previous sector downturns, provide opportunities,' chief executive Robert Forrester said.

'We have a strong balance sheet, underpinned by a property-rich asset base with low levels of debt, a clear focus upon capital allocation and we have an outstanding and stable team.'

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