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Pendragon sees profit uplift on new car sales growth

LONDON (Reuters) - Car dealer Pendragon (LSE:PDG) expects full-year profit to beat market expectations as new car sales continued to rise in Britain, bucking the negative trend across much of continental Europe.

The company on Monday said the volume of new car sales rose 15.6 percent in the first nine months of 2013, with an 8.9 percent uplift in used car sales.

The owner of the Stratstone, Evans Halshaw and Quicks dealerships said website visits were up 23.5 percent over the prior year for the nine months ended 30 September 2013.

"Profitability in 2013 is expected to be materially ahead of expectations for the full year and we are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for 2014," said Chief Executive Trevor Finn.

"Market conditions have been favourable this year, whilst the outlook to next year remains promising."

Prior to Monday's trading statement the company was expected to report an average full year pretax profit of around 41 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Reporting by Rhys Jones; Editing by Brenda Goh)