- Auto retailer Pendragon reported a deeper annual loss and scrapped its final dividend, though it said its performance had improved in the second half after it shuttered poorly performing stores.

The company said it was closely monitoring the impact of Covid-19 on the UK economy.

Net losses for the year through December amounted to £117.4m, compared to losses of £50.5m on-year.

Revenue fell 2.6% to £4.51bn, though it rose 3.1% on a like-for-like basis.

The company did not declare a final dividend, having paid out 0.7p per share on-year.

Pendragon said its performance in the first half was hurt by a combination of issues, including the impact of the clearance of used car stock from excess levels.

It said its results improved in the second half as a result of actions to re-set performance, including the closure of 22 underperforming car stores.

'The improvement in performance during the second-half puts the business on a much stronger footing for the 2020 financial year,' Pendragon said.

'The company is closely monitoring the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 virus and its potential impact on the economy.'

'At the moment, and excluding any impact from COVID-19, the company expects group underlying profit before tax for the 2020 financial year to be in line with market expectations, but will continue to watch the situation closely, particularly in light of the measures that were announced by the UK Government on 16 March.'

'At this stage, it is too early to accurately quantify what the impact may be.'

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