Manchester’s Auto Trader ups H1 revenue to £250m

Manchester-based FTSE 100 firm Auto Trader Group plc on Thursday lifted its interim dividend and posted a first-half revenue jump, but suffered a slight drop in profit as operating costs rose.

Shares were down about 3%.

Auto Trader said group revenue rose 16% to £249.8 million for the six months to September 30.

Pretax profit slipped 1.3% to £148 million as operating costs rose to £101.8 million from £65.4 million.

Operating profit was down 1.7% to £149.1 million resulting in an operating profit margin of 60%, down from 70% a year earlier.

“We saw strong levels of product growth driven by further uptake of our prominence products,” said Auto Trader.

CEO Nathan Coe said: “Our first half results demonstrate the strength of our position with car buyers and the depth of partnership we are building with customers.

“Achieving this in a period impacted by high levels of economic uncertainty is a credit to both our people and customers, and provides confidence in navigating the rest of the year.”

Auto Trader declared an interim dividend of 2.8p per share, up 3.7%.

Looking ahead, Auto Trader warned on the uncertainty of the outlook for future years, but said the used car market is “far less cyclical” than the new car market.

Hence, the company said it believes there are “significant opportunities for Auto Trader to grow revenue at high margins through our price and product levers”.

It added that operating profit margin for the full year is expected to be in line with financial 2022’s 70%.


Reporter: Xindi Wei

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