Trevor Finn, Chief Executive:

“Our profitability in the first quarter of the year is in line with our expectations against a backdrop of an exceptionally strong comparative in the prior year and our expectations of the market conditions in the first quarter being realised.  In the first quarter of 2017, the industry experienced the effect of the vehicle licence tax changes which brought forward vehicle revenue into quarter one of 2017.  We also achieved in quarter one 2017 record used vehicle revenue as the Group tested the sales capacity of its retail stores.  In the first quarter of 2018, national new vehicle registrations fell by 12.4%, which is in line with our expectations of the calendarisation of new vehicle registrations this year.  Our used vehicle revenue, excluding nearly new used car sales, increased by 3.1% against a strong comparative.  We are making progress on the delivery of our target of doubling used revenue by 2021 with three retail store openings this quarter and further retail stores planned in the year.  The Group performance remains in line with expectations for the full year.”

Interim Management Statement March 2018

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