Auto Trader share price hits the gas as it hikes profit expectations

Emma Haslett
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The company said operating profits will be higher than expected (Source: Getty)

It's been a bumpy ride in recent weeks on the test track that is the UK markets - but recently-listed Auto Trader isn't showing any signs of oversteer.

In a trading update this morning, the company said it had performed well in the past four months, with a stronger-than-expected increase in average revenue per retailer forecourt.

Because of that, the company said it expected full-year operating profits to land somewhere between £169m and £171m - "marginally ahead of current expectations" - as well as increasing margins and reducing net debt as planned.

Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange last March at 235p. Since then, shares have risen more than 50 per cent, boosted by November's announcement of its maiden dividend and a rise in the number of people buying cars online. This morning shares rose a further 4.8 per cent to to 378.6p.

Lest we forget, as oil prices fell, the British public has gone crazy for cars. In February figures by the Society of Motor Manufacturers showed new car registrations increased 2.9 per cent in January.
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