UK dealership Pendragon scraps dividend, offers grim outlook – Automotive News Europe

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UK dealership Pendragon scraps dividend, offers grim outlook – Automotive News Europe

UK auto dealer Pendragon canceled its annual dividend and issued a dismal annual forecast for the year on Wednesday, after deep price cuts to offload used car inventory pushed it to a loss in the first half of the year.

The British car industry has seen lower vehicle sales in the face of uncertainty caused by Britain’s impending exit from the European Union, and a shift towards sales of electric or hybrid cars.

The company said it expects annual loss to come in at the bottom of its expectations, blaming weak consumer confidence due to heightened political and Brexit uncertainties.

Pendragon, which has seen two CEOs leave this year, also said Non-Executive Chairman Chris Chambers will step down and Bill Berman will take on the new role of executive chairman on an interim basis.

The company reported an underlying pretax loss of 32.2 million pounds ($40.22 million) for the first-half, compared with a profit of 28.4 million pounds a year earlier.

The company’s franchised UK motor unit, its biggest, incurred underlying operating losses of 7.7 million pounds, compared with an operating profit of 31.8 million pounds a year ago.

Losses at its car store segment widened to 19.1 million pounds.

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