Thursday 6 June 2019 6:54 am

Auto Trader drives up profit despite market uncertainty

Online car marketplace Auto Trader raced to a 15 per cent rise in profit in the 2018-19 financial year, its results have shown today, with the company saying it is not worried about Brexit.

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The figures

Auto Trader’s profit before tax rose 15 per cent to £242.2m for the year ended 31 March, compared to £210.7m in the previous year.

Its revenue grew eight per cent to £335.1m from £330.1m previously.

The firm’s cash generated from operations rose 13 per cent to £258.5m, compared to the previous year’s figure of £228.4m.

Auto Trader’s gross external bank debt fell nine per cent to £313.0m, down from £228.4m last year.

The online car marketplace’s basic earnings per share rose 18 per cent to 21.0p from 17.7p previously.

Meanwhile, its dividend per share climbed 14 per cent to 6.7p, from 5.9p previously.

Why it’s interesting

The company’s full-year results come at a tough time for the automobile market. Yesterday, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that new car sales fell 4.6 per cent in year-on-year in May.

Yet Auto Trader says it expects another strong year of revenue growth as more people buy their cars online.

The firm also said it does not “foresee any issues with Brexit affecting our ability to provide our services, or to materially change our cost base”.

What Auto Trader said

Trevor Mather, chief executive of Auto Trader, said: “We have achieved another strong year of revenue and profit growth driven by a line-up of products that are proven to improve the business performance of our retailer and manufacturer customers.”

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“The new financial year has started well, and despite the continued wider market uncertainty, the board is confident of meeting its growth expectations for the year,” he said.