Inchcape showed this week the value of being a global company. While its performance in the UK fell substantially [by about 72% actually], its operations globally showed only a marginal reduction in profit. This was partly down to stunning figures in Russia, where sales have responded very positively to government incentives. Other markets are apparently under more pressure than us, and it is interesting that they are not the first retailer to put into question manufacturers supply issues last year, especially with regard to WLTP.

And indeed the swing in their fortunes was nothing compared to announcements from Aston Martin this week. Losing the previous year’s profits of £68 million might seem unfortunate, turning it into a similar loss is surely just careless. Much of this was linked to the flotation of the company and fees paid to advisers as well as incentives paid to senior management. Not a great advertisement for investor return. On the other hand, the underlying trading performance of the company looks fairly solid with expanding sales in several markets around the world.

Let us not forget it is March 1 today. A day when everybody should be rushed off their feet, though some of my clients tell me they were busier last week than they are this. Having said that, the start of the year has been better than many have predicted. Especially when Auto Trader reported that a study showed that a third of potential car purchasers in the UK have been put off making that decision because of the uncertainty around Brexit. It has certainly hit car manufacturing which is 20% down again.

Have a great weekend, some people tell me it is just 29 days until “we take back control”


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In the end, everything is a gag.
Charlie Chaplin (1889 – 1977)
Those who flee temptation generally leave a forwarding address.
Lane Olinghouse
Vote early and vote often.
Al Capone (1899 – 1947)

The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return. It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.
Arthur C. Clarke (1917 – )

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