- Auto dealer Pendragon said it posted a deeper than expected loss in the first quarter after its sales margins shrank.

Revenue for the three months through March rose 1.2% but 'challenging' trading conditions resulted in a reduction of new, used and aftersales margins.

When combined with higher operating costs, the fall in sales margins resulted in an underlying pre-tax loss of £2.8m.

'This is around £10m lower than our expectations for the period, comprised of around £7m from the net impact of higher revenue and lower margins, £2m of additional operating costs and £1m from the lower than expected Car Store performance,' the company said.

New car sales rose 2.6% over the period, offsetting a 0.2% fall in used car sales.

On a like-for-like basis, revenue rose 4.6%, with new car sales up 6.3% and used car sales up 2.9%.

Aftersales revenue rose 2.0%, or by 5.5% on a like-for-like basis.

At 8:02am: [LON:PDG] Pendragon PLC share price was -2.72p at 22.43p

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