November 8, 2018 / 7:45 AM / 9 days ago

UPDATE 1-Inchcape expects flat 2018 profit as UK market cools

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LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Car distributor and retailer Inchcape expects to post a roughly flat 2018 profit as Britain’s autos market continued to cool and sales were also hit by stricter emissions rules disrupting the supply of vehicles.

Inchcape, which operates in multiple markets around the world, posted a 2 percent rise in third-quarter revenue to 2.28 billion pounds ($3 billion) at constant currency and said its full-year profit performance would be “flat-ish.”

“There are significant headwinds whether that’s Singapore or the UK market,” Chief Executive Stefan Bomhard told Reuters.

Demand declined in Singapore due to reduced new vehicle permit availability, the firm said.

In Britain, where new car sales are down over 7 percent so far this year due to a double-digit drop in diesel demand, the company was also hit by stricter European emissions rules which have affected the supply of some models as they are recertified.

The firm said margin pressure eased in Britain and Australia at a slower-than-anticipated pace. (Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Sarah Young)

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