- Automotive distributor Inchcape saw half-yearly profits slip following a 'significant' temporary Subaru supply constraints and yen currency headwinds in Australasia.

Pre-exceptional profit before tax fell 13% to £156m year-on-year in constant currency; and reported pre-tax profits fell 3% to £154m year-on-year.

Group revenue of £4.7bn was up 2.4% year-on-year in actual currency and 2.7% in constant currency.

Distribution, which contributed to about 90% of its profits, saw strength in Asia and Europe offset by the impact of significant temporary Subaru supply constraints and a yen currency headwind in Australasia, as well as continued currency-related supply constraints in Ethiopia.

But Australasia supply normalised towards the end of the period, and the company secured currency for two large orders in Ethiopia to be delivered in the second half of the year which supported its 'resilient' group full-year outlook.

The company said it would continue plans to improve performances in its UK and Australia retail segments. 'We have now launched the next phase of our plans to improve the span of performance across our UK business, and as a part of this we announce the sale of seven retail sites, which in aggregate were loss-making in 2018, for £21m cash proceeds.'

'In addition, in Australia we have now agreed the sale of a third retail site, in addition to the two site disposals announced in May. We have been able to realise cash proceeds of £13m in total in Australia through disposing of these unprofitable sites.'

At 9:36am: [LON:INCH] Inchcape PLC share price was -20p at 589p

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