Inchcape Extends Drop on Russian Car Sales Decline: London Mover

Inchcape Plc (INCH), the largest publicly traded U.K. car retailer and wholesaler, had its biggest three-day drop in almost two years after Russian auto sales declined.

The shares slumped 3.6 percent to 458.6 pence at the close in London today, extending the three-day fall to 14 percent, the largest in as many days since August 2011.

Inchcape plummeted 7.4 percent on June 21 after Redburn Partners cut its rating to neutral from buy. The stock has seven buy and six hold recommendations among analysts tracked by Bloomberg, and hasn’t had a sell rating since September 2011. Redburn declined to make its report available to Bloomberg.

New car sales in Russia plunged 12 percent in May from a year earlier, the biggest year-on-year drop since February 2010, according to the Association of European Businesses. The group’s Automobile Manufacturers Committee lowered its forecast for full-year sales to 2.8 million vehicles, or 5 percent less than in 2012.

Russia and other emerging markets accounted for 1.26 billion pounds ($1.94 billion), or 21 percent of Inchcape’s revenue of 6.09 billion pounds last year, according to the London-based company. Operating profit in Russia and emerging markets fell 35 percent to 34.9 million pounds, or 13 percent of total operating profit.

The 21 percent drop in Inchcape’s share price since reaching the highest in almost five years on May 21 has pared its gain this year to about 6.4 percent, trailing competitors such as HR Owen Plc (HRO), up 77 percent, and Pendragon Plc (PDG), which has risen 36 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Lytle at dlytle@bloomberg.net

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