LONDON -- Inchcape Plc., a U.K. auto dealer and distributor operating in 26 countries, said first-half profit rose 14 percent even though sales dropped, as demand for luxury vehicles increased in Russia and other emerging markets.
Net income was 90 million pounds ($147 million), or 19.3 pence per share, up from 78.9 million pounds, or 17.1 pence per share a year ago, the London-based company said in a statement on the Regulatory News Service. Sales dropped 5.3 percent to 2.9 billion pounds.
Inchcape said it was hurt by weak economies in some of its markets, as well as tight supplies of Japanese cars caused by the earthquake and tsunami there. Two-thirds of the company's operating profit, excluding one-time items, came from Asia- Pacific countries and emerging markets.
"While in some of our markets we will continue to experience a temporary supply restriction on new cars as a result of the earthquake in Japan, we believe the group will deliver a solid performance for 2011, in line with our expectations," the company said in the statement.
Inchcape said it will stock more Jaguar, Land Rover and Porsche models in China in the second half, to meet demand.