MOTOR dealer Reg Vardy has reported strong new car sales, despite a period of uncertainty in the industry.

Managing director Robert Forrester said the demand for private new cars had been subdued across the industry, but that the company, which is based in Sunderland, had increased market share and sales compared to last year.

He said: "The business has always outperformed the UK market. Last year, we were concentrating on integrating new dealerships, whereas this year, there are less acquisitions and far more focus on the business.

"The North-East is doing very well - it will always be our highest-performing business unit."

The group told shareholders: "While we continue to be cautious about the new retail vehicle market in the current year, the overall performance from our dealership operations has been most encouraging and we remain confident of a satisfactory outcome for the current financial year."

The company saw strong demand for used cars during the summer and satisfactory performances by its aftersales operations.

In July, the company announced a four per cent fall in pre-tax profits for the year to April 30, while turnover rose 6.8 per cent to £1.72bn.