However, Inchcape moved to quell growing fears that plummeting value of currencies throughout South-east Asia would cause lasting damage to its business.
Philip Cushing, the group's chief executive, said: "Our important markets are Hong Kong and Singapore which have, so far, not been affected."
He added: "Thailand is likely to remain difficult for some time. The combined operating profits of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, however, represent only 5 per cent of the group's operating profits."
Inchcape lost pounds 7m at its Russian Coca-Cola bottling plant, where Inchcape has been undercut on the black market.
Inchcape announced a fall in headline pre-tax profits to pounds 78.8m (pounds 82.8m) but underlying earnings rose 15 per cent. Profits from the marketing division fell to pounds 15.2m (pounds 17.2m).
Investment column, page 24