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AUTO1 sees strong first quarter growth at Autohero brand, confirms guidance

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FILE PHOTO: Flags bearing the AUTO1 logo pictured at the company grounds in Zoerbig, Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) - German used-car platform AUTO1 Group SE on Wednesday reported strong first-quarter growth at its new direct-to-consumer brand, Autohero, as it confirmed its guidance for the year.

The results were the first since Berlin-based AUTO1 floated on the Frankfurt stock exchange in February, and Christian Bertermann, CEO and co-founder, said growth was healthy across the board despite coronavirus lockdowns.

"We are particularly happy to see our Autohero retail offering taking off with such vigour," Bertermann said in a statement. "Given our first-quarter performance, we are very optimistic for the coming months."

Shares in AUTO1 rose 2.5% in early Frankfurt trade.

AUTO1 traded 131,000 cars in the first three months of the year, up 12% from the preceding quarter. Most were dealt via its merchant platform, while Autohero's direct delivery product increased units sold by 87% to nearly 8,000.

Revenue grew on a quarter-on-quarter basis by 15.5% to 900 million euros ($1.1 billion), continuing a recovery from the COVID-19 hit that set in late last year. The adjusted EBITDA margin was minus 1.6%, narrowing from minus 2.8%.

AUTO1 reiterated its guidance for revenue of between 3.8 and 4.2 billion euros for this year as a whole, gross profit of 360-410 million euros and an adjusted EBITDA margin of minus 2-2.5%.

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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