Dagenham upturn

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The Independent Online
DAGENHAM MOTORS, the Ford dealer in London and the South-east where recession has hit the motor trade hard, has lifted interim pre-tax profits by 11 per cent to pounds 1.13m despite 'extremely adverse' trading conditions.

Turnover in the six months ended 30 June rose by 23.7 per cent to pounds 75.6m with the first contribution from two new dealerships. Overall vehicle sales in its seven established dealerships, however, also increased marginally against the market trend.

David Philip, chairman, said the service and accident repair businesses had helped to keep revenue constant as the traditional market in new vehicles shrank.

But he said the company had also achieved record vehicle sales volumes in August, adding: 'We are turning the electricity on, not off. We haven't stopped investing. The market may be weak but competitors are falling away.

'The figures say that Ford did not sell more cars in the past year, but we did. The group . . . intends to emerge from the recession long before its competitors.'

He warned that it would be imprudent to make predictions for the year-end performance as the last quarter had been particularly difficult in recent years.

Earnings per share rose by 10 per cent to 4.4p and the interim dividend is unchanged at 1.75p. The shares rose 1p to 106p.

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