Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Motor retail group Lookers reports strong first half

16:32 13 August 2014

09 Filtacool pic

09 Filtacool pic

Motor dealership chain Lookers said today sales of new cars jumped 15% in the first half of this year as it powered to record interim profits and raised its forecasts for 2014 as a whole.

shares

The Manchester-based firm, which has 127 franchised dealerships representing 31 marques from 77 locations, including Colchester, Sudbury, Braintree and Chelmsford, has been boosted by the UK economy and a return to more normal trading conditions.

The used-car market also showed signs of improvement with like-for-like sales up 5%, which helped adjusted pre-tax profits jump 36% to £40.2million in the six months to June 30.

The business said sales lifted 10% to 1.29m vehicles across the industry over the last six months, and is set to top 2.4m for the year, at least 6% ahead of 2013.

The group added it was also optimistic about its performance in the key September selling period. September and March are strong months as they are the two times a year when new registration plates are issued, and together account for around a third of the annual market.

The firm, which also sells parts and servicing, includes Taggarts showrooms in Scotland and Charles Hurst in Northern Ireland.

Chief executive Andy Bruce said: “We have delivered a strong trading performance in the first half of the year which is another record result and represents six successive years of profit improvement.

“Lookers is well placed to take advantage of further growth opportunities in the new and used car markets and increased demand for aftersales and parts. This gives us confidence that we can continue to grow the business and deliver improved results for the full year.”

Lookers said it has bought seven businesses since the start of the financial year, including rival dealership Colborne in March for £33.6m. This dealership operates eight forecourts in the South East selling Audis, Bentleys, Skodas and Volkswagens.

The market had expected Lookers to turn in a full-year pre-tax profit of £57.3 million, but a number of analysts are now upgrading their forecasts.

Brokers at Numis have raised the annual pre-tax forecast for Lookers by £2.8m to £60.3m. Numis added: “Lookers has reported an exceptional first half trading performance.”

The firm was founded by John Looker in 1908 in Manchester and was originally a bicycle and parts shop.

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Armed robbery in Sudbury

A man has been arrested following an armed robbery at a shop in Ballingdon Street in Sudbury this afternoon.

Shirley Ison may have made a fatal error which caused her car to collide with a tree

Driver error is believed to be the cause of a road accident in which a woman was killed, it was ruled this week.

Easter fun at Kesgrave Library. Tabitha and Sebastion Degiorgio.

Eggs – chocolate and real ones – were on everyone’s minds as a library held a family event to mark the Easter season.

Extra trains for ITFC Fans

Extra train services have been arranged for Ipswich Town fans on Good Friday.

Hagon pleaded guilty to a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, March 31 to two years and eight months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for five years, after which he must take an extended test, Essex Police said.

A driver has been jailed for two years and eight months following a serious collision in High Garrett, near Braintree.

Planners have refused homes on vacant land at Felixstowe's Haven Exchange site.

Proposals for 61 homes near the Port of Felixstowe have been refused because of the need to keep as much employment land available as possible.

Chelmsford Crown Court

A woman has been left permanently disabled after a driver who had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs smashed into her car.

April Fool

It is hard to trust anything you are told today - because it seems everyone is trying to catch you out with an April Fool.

Mark Bee has pushed to ensure better broadband is brought to Suffolk.

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee last night insisted he wants to continue playing “an active role” in politics in Suffolk, as he announced he would quit his role next month.

Louise Waplington with husband Martyn, son Leon and daughter Annabelle

For one London Marathon runner this year her son is all the inspiration she needs.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages