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HR Owen in the slow lane as the rich show caution

The darkening economic picture appears to have triggered caution among the super-rich, with the luxury car retailer HR Owen reporting a slump in demand for high-end vehicles in recent weeks.

The company, which specialises in such prestige brands as Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce, said it had also been hit by issues surrounding the supply of some new models "for which customer orders have been received".

The combination of weak demand in the luxury car market and supply problems means that HR Owen now expects to book "a small loss" for the second half of the year, the company revealed, although it remains on track to record a profit for the full year.