Inchcape plc, the international automotive services group, has increased pre-tax profit 30.9% to £83.4 million for the half year to 30 June 2004.

Operating profit was up 33.5% to £88.1million while earnings per share rose 28.9% to 75.4p.

Group chief executive Peter Johnson said : “The year has started much better than expected, with a significant increase in profits in all of our core markets.”