Inchcape lifts guidance but still plans to shed 500 jobs

CAR dealer Inchcape plans to cut 500 jobs due to a tough ongoing conditions in four of its markets, although 2010 profits will come in slightly ahead of its expectations.

“Given the challenging outlook in 2011 for new car demand in four of our markets, namely the UK, Greece, Belgium and Singapore, we plan to reduce our cost base by £25m,” the firm said yesterday.

The company also said it would sell 10 dealerships.

Inchcape, which employs about 14,300 people and sells and distributes cars for manufacturers including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, said it would take an exceptional restructuring charge of £18m in the fourth quarter. Third-quarter sales were slightly ahead of group expectations, driven by a strong recovery in Hong Kong, Australia and South America.