StockMarketWire.com - Auto dealer Pendragon swung to a first-half loss, scrapped its interim dividend and said chairman Chris Chambers would stand down at the start of October.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through June amounted to £32.2m, compared to a profit of £28.4m on-year.

Revenue fell 0.8% to £2.46bn but was up 2.9% on a like-for-like basis, though margins were hurt by lacklustre demand.

Pendragon said its full-year underlying loss was now expected to be at the bottom of its expectations.

'Economic and market conditions are very challenging,' the company said.

'The heightened political and Brexit uncertainty, as to both outcome and timing, is adversely affecting customer confidence.'

'We are not anticipating any improvement in this for the rest of our financial year and are closely monitoring market conditions and customer behaviour particularly during the important trading month of September.'

Chambers would be replaced on an interim basis by current non-executive director Bill Berman, who would assume the newly-created role of executive chairman.

Berman would provide leadership and strategic direction while the search for a new chief executive continued and the process for finding a new chairman commenced, Pendragon said.

'It has been a privilege to work with my colleagues and stakeholders at Pendragon over a number of years, and I am firmly of the view that the company now needs an executive chairman who can dedicate the time and industry expertise that the company requires in these difficult markets,' Chambers said.

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