Motor retail group Pendragon saw its operating profits more than double year-on-year in the six months to June, reaching £6.1m.

The growth was driven by a 64% jump in leasing revenues, which hit £40.8m. The result partly offset the significant fall in the UK motor sales segment, where revenues were down 1.5% to £2.1bn and operating profit fell 45.4% to £237.4m.

Pendragon, which has a fleet management divison and brokers contract hire from captives through the Evans Halshaw brand, attributed the growth in revenues to higher volumes as well as higher than usual used vehicle disposal activity.

In February, the group said it would focus on the used segment to hedge against falling new vehicle sales – both within the group and in the overall market. Chris Caygill, a former Porsche retail director, was appointed as UK used car director in May.

Pendragon aims to double used car revenues by 2021, expanding the Evans Halshaw brand to the whole of the UK. It highlighted leasing and online retail capabilities as two key sectors of focus to reach the target.

The group has been in the process of disposing its US operations as part of a restructuring drive. It estimates the sale of its Horburg premium brand, dealing in Land Rover, Land Rover, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Chevrolet, will bring £100 before tax in the group’s coffers.

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At group level, Pendragon is still struggling with falling profits, which forced it to put out a warning in October of last year. For the first half of 2018, the group reported £42.2m in operating profits, down almost 30% year-on-year.