NOTTINGHAM, England (Reuters) -- Profits of Britain's largest car dealer, Pendragon, doubled in the first half as increased online visits helped drive up used and new car sales.
Pretax profits in the six months to end June were 33.2 million pounds (40.6 million euros), an increase of 99 percent on the same period last year.
The company said there were 8 million visits to its Web site in the first six months of 2014, a 16 percent rise on the same period of last year that also boosted its aftersales service business. "The internet transformation of our business continues to yield sizable benefits for the group," CEO Trevor Finn said in a statement.
Pendragon now provides high-definition videos of selected vehicles to help customers in their purchase decisions before visiting one of its more than 250 retail outlets.
Underlying revenue at the dealership rose by 2.7 percent to 2.07 billion pounds (2.6 billion euro) and Pendragon said it expected its full-year performance to be "comfortably in line with expectations."
Pendragon said it was continuing its expansion strategy across Britain. Last February Finn told Reuters he was looking at opportunities in the cities of Bristol, Ipswich and Norwich.