UK car dealer Pendragon on Tuesday stuck with its forecast for a loss this financial year after it cut costs to tackle the impact of weakening car sales and consumer confidence.
The company, which operates the Evans Halshaw, Stratstone, Quickco and Car Store brands, said full-year underlying loss before tax is likely to be in line with its expectations.
The board said in June it expected a "small" underlying annual loss, but added in September that results would be at the lower end of its expectations as deep price cuts to offload used car inventory pushed it to a first-half loss.
However, Pendragon posted higher underlying pretax profit on Tuesday for the third quarter ended September 30.
Quarterly revenue fell 8 percent as sales from used cars in the UK fell, offsetting growth in its new car business.
"In our view, the drivers of the third-quarter results are sustainable and exit trends augur well for support of full year expectations, which should be welcomed by the market following persistent downgrades," Jefferies analysts said.
The company has seen two chief executives leave this year. Earlier this month, the company named former AutoNation Chief Operating Officer Bill Berman to lead the company as it searches for a chairman and CEO. Berman, who joined Pendragon's board in April, began as interim executive chairman on Oct. 1, after Chairman Chris Chambers stepped down.
The company has been impacted by the woes of the British car industry, which is faced with weak sales, stricter emissions regulations and a shift towards sales of electric or hybrid cars.
With just nine days left for the UK to leave the European Union, the divorce is again in disarray as Britain's politicians argue over whether to leave with a deal, exit without a deal or hold another referendum.
Pendragon is Europe's fourth-largest dealership group by revenue, according to Automotive News Europe's 2019 Guide to Europe's Biggest Dealers. It has 177 new-vehicle franchise points in the UK.