HR Owen shares accelerate as the car seller beats its forecasts

Marion Dakers
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ES in upmarket car seller HR Owen roared nearly four per cent ahead yesterday after it revealed that it was set to beat profit forecasts for the year.

The FTSE-listed firm said a particularly good sales run at its Rolls-Royce and Bentley franchises had driven its performance in the second half of the year.

HR Owen’s success echoes reports of record turnover at several luxury car makers including Jaguar and Audi in recent weeks.

The firm opened a new Ferrari showroom at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge in summer 2011, which has also helped to improve its sales figures.

Orders for the new Lamborghini Aventador were also a welcome boost during 2012.

The company said the first half of 2013 will be “less pronounced” than last year as car makers are expected to roll out fewer new models, but the firm added that it has several plans for growth during the year.

House broker Charles Stanley has raised its pre-tax profit forecast for 2012 from £1.8m to £2.2m, and increased its 2013 profit outlook by £0.1m to £1.8m.

“Whilst allocations are not expected to be a problem, in part due to weakness in some overseas European markets, we feel it appropriate to remain somewhat cautious at this early juncture in the year,” the analysts said, while remaining upbeat in the long term.

Shares in HR Owen closed up 3.7 per cent at 69.5p yesterday.