THE acquisition of North Yorkshire rival company CD Bramall helped car dealership Pendragon post a 71 per cent rise in half-year profits.

Pendragon said it benefited from its takeover of Harrogate-based Bramall in March.

The UK's largest car dealership said the integration of the £230m acquisition was going to plan, while existing franchises, including Vauxhall and Ford, were performing well.

Announcing results for the six months to June 30, Pendragon said bottom-line profits rose to £40.6m, while turnover increased to £1.6bn from £948m, including £669m from CD Bramall.

Pendragon increased its presence in the luxury market, as well as the size of its sales operation for Ford, Vauxhall, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, through the purchase of CD Bramall. Pendragon also expanded its coverage in Scotland and the South-West, leaving it with 257 sites and 11,500 staff.

Demand in the UK was stable, with the company selling 1.4 million new cars in the first six months, a small increase on last year. This left the company on track to match last year's total of 2.6 million new vehicle sales.

On a like-for-like basis, turnover from Pendragon dealerships was 8.5 per cent higher at £62.6m, while underlying operating profits increased by nearly ten per cent.

Since the acquisition, CD Bramall operations have been reorganised and integrated into Pendragon. Functions such as payroll, group accounts and property management have been transferred to its Nottingham headquarters.

The company disposed of four businesses, including three CD Bramall dealerships.

Chief executive Trevor Finn said: ''Following the acquisition of CD Bramall at the beginning of March this year, we have maintained our focus on the group's profitability to produce an excellent set of results.