Auto Trader share price on the skids as firm reports increased revenue and profit

Caitlin Morrison
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Auto Trader shares dipped this morning (Source: Getty)

Shares in Auto Trader slid in early trading despite the online car selling group reporting improved revenue and profit in the year to 31 March.

The figures

Revenue was up nine per cent to £311.4m from £281.6m in 2016.

Operating profit was up 18 per cent to £203.1m from £169.6m, while pre-tax profit rose 23 per cent to £193.4m from £155m.

The company, which first floated on the stock exchange in February 2015, proposed a final dividend of 3.5p per share, bringing the total divi for the year to 5.2p, compared with 1.5p per share paid out in 2016.

Why it's interesting

Analysts at Shore Capital said this morning: "We are encouraged by the positive performance and outlook comments... which highlight the strength of (Auto Trader’s) market position."

However, despite the strong set of results, Auto Trader's shares were down four per cent by mid-morning.

What Auto Trader said

"We have delivered another year of strong growth," said Trevor Mather, Auto Trader's chief executive.

"With consumers spending more than double the time researching their next car online than they do offline, we have strived to create greater transparency and therefore trust in our marketplace, benefitting consumers, retailers, and manufacturers alike. This in turn continues to increase the value we deliver, making the car buying journey a simpler, more enjoyable and trusted process."

He added: "After a number of years of near uninterrupted growth, and despite the exceptionally high performing first quarter of the calendar year, the industry now expects new car registrations to plateau or decline but continues to anticipate growth in used car transaction volumes.

"The new financial year has started well, and despite the wider political and economic uncertainty, the Board is confident of delivering its growth expectations for the coming year. We remain focused on enhancing the value of our marketplace and continuously improving the products and services we offer for consumers, retailers and manufacturers."

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