Fleet News

Quicks warning triggers fall in other dealer groups' shares

SHARES in dealership groups slumped this week following a profits warning from Manchester-based Quicks Group. The 44-strong dealership group issued a trading statement saying company profits for the second half of this year, ending December 31, were expected to be lower than for the second half of last year.

Pre-tax profits for the first half of this year were £5 million against £3.1 million for the first half of 1997, with analysts predicting pre-tax profits for the whole of 1998 to be about £9.8 million. Analysts now expected this year's pre-tax profits to reach £7 million (1997: 5.9 million).

The company says the warning - other motor industry groups to sound warnings in recent months include Arriva and Car Group - came due to declining sales in the Midlands, North and in Scotland, while business in the south of England was 'holding up well'. Quicks chief executive Alec Murray said the company's expectation of a weaker second half had been realised with trading conditions deteriorating in September and last month. In addition the company has closed one outlet in Dundee and two more dealership groups are for sale.

Quicks' shares fell 19.5p to 66p - against a 52-week high of 164.5p. And other dealer groups were affected, with Sanderson Bramall and Vardy shares each dropping 3p and Dagenham Motors 7.5p.

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