The good news was marred, however, by the continuing depression hitting used car values. Finance director Charles Cameron said: 'Overall, the UK new car market grew by 7.8% in the first six months of the year, fuelled by the vehicle manufacturers who offered customers very attractive new car deals. This had the effect of switching demand from the 'nearly new' used car sector. The used car market had a difficult second quarter with supply, particularly of nearly-new cars, exceeding demand, resulting in a significant fall in values.'
The company is now bracing itself for sales confusion in January, when fleets which traditionally take on cars for the new year hold off until the new registration change in March. Cameron said turnover was also down because of a number of disposals, including 30 dealerships, and Fleet Cost Management sold to Cendant last year.