Inchcape sees its profit driven up by Asia-Pacific

MULTINATIONAL car dealer Inchcape posted a 10.1 per cent rise in first-half profit as strong revenue growth in Asia-Pacific and emerging markets offset declines in the UK and Europe.

The British-based group, which sells and distributes cars for manufacturers like Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and BMW in 26 markets, said yesterday it made a profit before tax of £126.8m in the six months to 30 June, up from £115.2m in the same period last year.

That was despite a 5.3 per cent fall in turnover to £2.9bn, with the firm benefiting from an 8.6 per cent reduction in costs.

Two thirds of Inchcape’s trading profit came from Asia-Pacific and emerging markets.

The firm, which ended the half with net cash of £188.6m, is paying an interim dividend of 3.6p, having omitted the payment at the same stage last year.

Shares in Inchcape closed up 8.4 per cent yesterday at 390p.