LOOKERS today reported healthy profit rises in new and used car sales as well as aftersales.
Its trading update for the first quarter of 2017, released ahead of a Capital Markets Day event for investors and analysts, showed gross profit on new cars rising by 17 per cent between January 1 and March 31 this year – a nine per cent like-for-like increase compared with the first quarter of 2016.
The group also saw gross profit on used cars go up by 23 per cent in the first three months of 2017, which was a 17 per cent like-for-like rise. Meanwhile, aftersales gross profit went up by 18 per cent in this year’s first quarter (nine per cent like-for-like). Turnover was up by 17 per cent (eight per cent like-for-like).
The company said that it was performing in line with management expectations, adding: ‘Some of the increase in the new car market is likely be a result of the increase in vehicle excise duty from 1 April 2017, which will have had the effect of potentially bringing forward sales from April to March.
‘The group has made a pleasing start to the year with a positive result for the first quarter. We have a strong balance sheet. We also have substantial headroom in our bank facilities, which provides financial security as well as significant additional funding capacity to help develop the business through further strategic acquisitions.
‘The financial performance of the group in the three-month period builds on what was already a strong comparative in the previous year.’
Established in 1908, Lookers now has 153 franchise dealerships across the UK and Ireland.
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