NI car dealer Charles Hurst reports pre-tax profits rise

Charles Hurst Charles Hurst is one of Northern Ireland's largest car dealerships

One of Northern Ireland's largest car dealerships has reported increased turnover and pre-tax profits for 2012.

The Charles Hurst group, which has 16 car and two motorcycle franchises, saw turnover increase slightly to £347m, while pre-tax profits went up from £2.8m to £4.6m.

The firm said one element in the performance was increased profit margins on used cars.

Charles Hurst is ultimately owned by Lookers, a Manchester-based firm.

The motor trade industry in Northern Ireland has faced a tough time in the economic downturn.

Sales plunged by more than 30% between 2007 and 2012 and some smaller dealerships went out of business.

There has been some recovery in sales in 2013.

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