Inchcape gloom sends share price tumbling

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Inchcape, the international motors and business services group, slumped by 37p to 515p yesterday after it warned that it did not expect any marked recovery in the business climate for the majority of its operation in 1994 and would still suffer from the effects of a high yen.

Inchcape reported an 8.5 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 271.4m in 1993, although before exceptional items and property profits there was only a 1 per cent increase to pounds 252.4m.

The dividend was increased by 7.6 per cent to 14.8p after a final payment of 9p.

Sir David Plastow, chairman, said that although motor retailing, mainly Tozer Kemsley in the UK, and business services had made good progress, group profits had been held back by austerity measures in the Chinese market and by depressed trading conditions in Japan and Malaysia.

Although group profits had enjoyed a pounds 25m benefit from translating overseas profits into sterling, it had suffered a pounds 38m cost to its profits from the high yen since it imports Japanese cars into mainland Europe.

'Although we have seen encouraging signs in certain of our markets most of the factors that made 1993 such a challenging year still remain,' Sir David said.

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