Ferrari sales cause HR Owen profits jump

Luxury car seller HR Owen has said its pre-tax profits doubled to £1.7m in the first half of the year as buyers flocked to its new high-end cars.

The Ferrari and Bentley seller said its revenues rose almost 18 per cent compared with the first half of 2010 to £93.1m as its customers appeared undented by the gloomy economic outlook.

Pre-tax profit including exceptional items was 8.5 per cent higher than in 2010.

HR Owen said its new ‘Ferrari Atelier’ showroom within Knightsbridge’s Berkeley hotel had performed particularly well, and demand for the supercars still outstripped supply.

It also expanded into Aston Martin sales for the first time by buying Broughtons of Cheltenham.

It sold 277 cars in the first half, up from 240 a year ago.

But HR Owen cut its dividend payment to 0.5p per share, down from 2p per share a year earlier, as it said it wanted to use the capital to fund further growth.