UPDATE 1-Northgate profit up 11 pct on strong UK performance
* FY underlying pretax profit 59.7 mln stg vs 53.8 mln stg last yr
* To reintroduce 3 pence/share div for this year
* Says started year in line with expectations
June 27 (Reuters) - Van rental company Northgate Plc reported an 11 percent increase in full-year profit as higher hire rates and a rise in used vehicle sales boosted its UK segment.
The British company, which operates in the UK, Spain and the Republic of Ireland, said underlying pretax profit rose to 59.7 million pounds ($93.12 million) for the year ended April 30 from 53.8 million pounds last year.
Northgate, which has been cutting its fleet on weak demand and selling vehicles to reduce debt, said its board recommended the re-introduction of a dividend at 3 pence per share for the current fiscal year.
Used vehicle sales climbed by about a third to 25,200 in the UK. Average hire revenue per vehicle was 3 percent higher than in the prior year in the country.
Northgate, whose fleet totalled 52,900 in the UK and 38,400 in Spain as of April, said it began the year in line with its expectations.
Shares in the company, which have fallen about 40 percent over the past 12 months, closed at 178.5 pence on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.
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