Bentley first-half profit more than doubles, boosted by customised cars

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A Bentley car is seen at the Emirates Driving Institute which offers students to learn how to drive on luxury cars, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 11, 2021. Picture taken June 11, 2021. REUTERS/Abdel hadi Ramahi/File Photo

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LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - Luxury British carmaker Bentley's first-half operating profit more than doubled, boosted by increased customisation of cars as sales rose significantly in Europe and Britain despite ongoing global economic uncertainty.

The unit of German carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) on Friday posted an operating profit for the first six months of 2022 of 398 million euros ($403 million), more than the 178 million euros in the same period of last year and also its full-year 2021 profit of 389 million euros.

"Despite the continued global economic instability, it is promising to see Bentley is showing financial consistency as we reinvent the company," chief executive Adrian Hallmark said in a statement.

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Global sales rose almost 3% to 7,398 cars, up from 7,199 in the first half of 2021, while revenue per car jumped almost 15% to 213,000 euros from 186,000 as high-net worth customers took advantage of a customisation program.

That pushed half-year revenue at the luxury carmaker up 29% to 1.707 billion euros from 1.324 billion in the same period last year.

The company said sales were up 33% in Europe and 44% in the United Kingdom. Bentley did not provide numbers for its strongest market, the United States, but said China had been impacted by the lengthy lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

($1 = 0.9883 euros)

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Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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