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Inchcape upbeat on 2009 but cautious on next year

CAR dealer Inchcape said yesterday it expected to end 2009 slightly ahead of its view, as it benefitted from strong demand for new cars in the UK during the second half of the year, but remained cautious about 2010.

The group, which sells and distributes cars for manufacturers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Toyota in 26 countries, said it also saw early signs of an industry recovery in Hong Kong and Australia.

Total revenue for the eleven months to November fell 11.4 per cent and like-for-like revenue decreased 9.4 per cent.

“We do not expect any global car industry recovery to start until well into the second half of 2010 as consumer confidence is still weak and unemployment continues to rise in many of our markets,” the company said. It added its financial position remained strong and it still expected to be broadly debt free at the end of 2009.