Rise in new-car sales in Belgium prompts D’Ieteren to raise 2010 forecast

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 23, 2010

D'Ieteren, a Belgian dealer group, raised its 2010 profit forecast after its third quarter was driven by strong sales of new cars in Belgium. Its profit forecast was also helped by a steady return of business customers to its rental business.

It owns 60 percent of car rental company Avis Europe. D'Ieteren recently said it now expects pretax profit to increase by 30 percent in 2010, up from a previous forecast of 25 percent.

Also raising its third quarter was another good performance as D'Ieteren's car windshield sales benefited from a strong dollar. Pascale Weber, a KBC Securities analyst, increased her target price on the stock to EUR480 from EUR450, with an unchanged "buy" rating.

Expecting pretax income growth of 35.5 percent, Weber adds that subsidies on low-emission cars seemed to lift Belgian new-car registrations; windscreen replacement and repair business Belron had a solid summer; and Avis income was growing at a better pace than the 1.1 percent of the first half.

D'Ieteren spokesman Vincent Joye says that, with 45 percent in the first nine months, the Company would reach its 30 percent goal even if its fourth quarter was "very bad." [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: belgium, sales

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