By Michael Millar
Date: Thursday 30 Aug 2012
LONDON (ShareCast) - Luxury auto dealership H.R. Owen released strong first half figures off the back of strong sales of Ferrari and Lamboghini super cars.
Revenue from continuing operations for the period was up to £128.4m from £93.1 the year before, also aided by the acquisition of Bentley specialist Broughtons in August last year.
Profit increased by 23% to £2.1m, representing earnings per share of 5.9 pence.
The firm also said it expected strong sales in the second half.
"The group's profits have historically been weighted towards the first six months of the year and this trend is expected to continue in 2012," said Chief Executive Joe Doyle.
"With significant investment in marketing and IT planned for the second half, the board's expectation for the full year remains in line with current market expectations."
HR Owen is the only quoted UK car retailer exclusively focussed on the prestige/luxury car segment.
Stockbrokers Charles Stanley said this focus, in part, explains the recent outperformance versus the rest of the UK car retailing industry
"The strong interims attest to the established resilience of the business model, whilst management now seeks to increase the models strength and diversity through multiple strategic growth initiatives," the firm said in a note.
"We initiate with a Buy and a 70p price target, giving around 40% upside."
Ferrari new car sales increased significantly as a result of the opening of a bespoke Ferrari atelier at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge in June last year.
The launch by Lamborghini of its new Aventador also benefitted the group with strong new car deliveries during the first half and forward orders held for deliveries throughout the second half of the year and into 2013.
Used car volumes, on a like-for-like basis, were broadly in line with the comparative period.