A CAR dealership with showrooms across the North-East has seen new vehicle sales rise after manufacturers regained confidence in the UK market.

Vertu Motors, which trades as Bristol Street Motors, revealed like for like sales on new vehicles has risen by 13.6 per cent in the five months to January 31, with increased gross profit on new car sales.

The company, which has 95 sales and aftersales outlets across the UK, has Ford dealerships in Durham and Hartlepool, Nissan and Seat showrooms in Darlington, and sells Vauxhall cars in Sunderland.

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It said orders for new cars were higher than this time last year and expects trading to exceed current market expectations.

Robert Forrester, Vertu Motors chief executive, said: “It has been a busy and exciting year for the group with 18 sales outlets added to propel Vertu’s dealership network and make it the seventh largest retailer in the sector by revenue.

“The group continues to assess a significant number of acquisition opportunities as it pursues its objective of developing a scaled business in the automotive retail sector.”