Auto dealer Pendargaon warned that it expected to post a small underlying loss for the year amid a challenging market, high stock levels and rising costs. The company said it would post a significant underlying pre-tax loss in the first half, before returning to profitability in the second, but not enough to prevent a full-year loss. Pendragon said it had recorded a significant increase in used car stock at the end of its 2018 financial year to £458m, up from £372m on-year. New car margins had also suffered to achieve sales targets, while costs had risen, particularly in the aftersales business. 'Notwithstanding the challenging market and uncertain macro outlook, the expected loss for the year is still disappointing,' chief executive Mark Herbert said. 'That said, we see significant addressable opportunities to improve the business and return to profitable growth.' 'We are continuing to work on our review of the business ahead of our strategic update in September, but I am confident there are real opportunities for self-help that will improve the performance of the core UK motor and leasing businesses.' 'In the short-term, there is a need for a refocus of strategy and execution in Car Store but I believe this, together with Pinewood, to be significant long-term market opportunities that we should be pursuing with vigour.'
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