LONDON (Reuters) -- British car dealer Reg Vardy said on Wednesday annual profit fell 4 percent on waning consumer spending but trading in May and June had been better than a year ago.
"The results reflect the reduced consumer demand for new cars experienced since May 2004," Chief Executive Peter Vardy said, adding he expected the new car market to remain subdued for the rest of the year.
Reg Vardy, which runs 98 dealerships across Britain, said pretax profit fell to 43.8 million pounds ($77.6 million) in the year ended April 30. The final dividend was set at 12.1 pence, making the total dividend 10 percent higher at 17.6 pence.
Reg Vardy said May and June numbers came in ahead of the previous year's levels helped by group-wide cost savings.
"The outlook was better than anticipated, as Vardy should start to benefit from cost re-structuring and enhanced performances from acquisitions or start-ups undertaken over the past couple of years," Numis Securities analyst Mike Allen said.
The company said it still plans to have 100 dealerships under its name and was confident acquisitions in the near future will bring it closer to its target.
Reg Vardy has added one BMW dealership and two Vauxhall businesses recently but also closed Aberdeen Rover following the demise of the British car maker. Other dealerships currently still selling new and used MG Rover vehicles will continue aftersales service but sell other brands in coming months.