Auto Trader has announced strong financial results with profits up ten per cent on 2017.

Auto Trader Group, the parent company behind the UK’s largest digital vehicle marketplace, said operating profits in the 12 months to March 31st were £220.6 million, compared with £203.1m the year before.

Revenue also climbed seven per cent to £330.1m, up from £311.4m in 2017.

The firm returned £148.4m to shareholders.

Trevor Mather, chief executive officer of Auto Trader Group, said: "This has been a strong year of revenue and profit growth for Auto Trader, driven predominately by retailer and manufacturer adoption of the new products that we launched throughout the year.

"We have taken a big step in our strategy of improving car buying in the UK by launching the Dealer Finance product which allows consumers to find their next car by monthly payment and allows retailers to advertise finance on their cars earlier in the buying journey.”

The firm said audience engagement remained strong with 618m minutes spent on its platforms, up six per cent on 2017.

“Our market leading position has been enhanced by consumers spending more time on our site interacting with the wide range of adverts, products and advice that we offer,” added Mather.

"Auto Trader is uniquely placed to help current customers and other automotive players adapt to the evolving automotive environment in the UK, and despite the challenging conditions for our customers in the past 12 months we have clearly seen that those who engage more closely with our products and our data are able to gain market share and improve efficiency.

"The new financial year has started well, and the board is confident of meeting its growth expectations for the year."