Automotive retailer Marshall Motor Holdings said its annual profit more than doubled after it sold its leasing business and grew revenue, despite recording lower like-for-like new and used car unit sales.
Pre-tax profit jumped to £53.1m, up from £22.2m, as revenue increased by 19.5% to £2.27bn.
Underlying pre-tax profit increased by 14.4% as gross profit margin expanded by eight basis points to 11.7%.
The company declared a dividend for the full year of 6.4p per share, up 16.4% on-year.
'Despite the more challenging market backdrop, the board is pleased to announce another record financial performance which was ahead of our previously upgraded expectations,' chief executive Daksh Gupta said.
'During 2017 we took a number steps, including the strategic disposal of Marshall Leasing, to prepare the group for the future.'
'We are now focused exclusively on our motor retail business and with a significantly strengthened balance sheet remain ideally positioned to exploit future opportunities.'
Gupta said the company had noted the latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders UK new car market forecasts for a decline of 5.6% in 2018.
'As a consequence the board therefore remains cautious about the UK car market in 2018 as it returns to a more normalised level.'
'Our trading performance in the current financial year to date is in line with our expectations and our outlook for the full year remains unchanged.'
At 8:09am: (LON:MMH) Marshall Motor Holdings PLC share price was +9.5p at 176.5p