Pendragon drives forward

Car dealership group Pendragon said yesterday its first-quarter key indicators were ahead of forecasts. In an interim management statement for the period to 31 March, the group said aftersales turnover declined marginally but gross profit margin improved by 280 basis points. Used car volumes were up 15.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis, outperforming a flat market. Excluding scrappage, like-for-like UK new retail car sales for the key brands represented were up 9.1 per cent, compared with a market increase of 7.5 per cent.