DEALER group Lookers has announced profits have jumped 38 per cent in the first six months of this year.
The company’s half-year trading update for the six months ended June 30, 2014, show that Lookers is performing strongly with growth in all parts of its business.
Profit before tax increased to £37.7m – up 38 per cent on the same period last year – while revenue increased to £1.6bn, up 29 per cent.
Lookers, which has 127 franchised dealerships and added seven business with the acquisition of Colbourne in March, revealed its new car sales increased by 15 per cent compared to 2013. Meanwhile sales volumes for used cars increased by five per cent, when compared on a like-for-like basis to 2013, and gross profit per unit increased by seven per cent.
In aftersales, turnover increased by six per cent as did the company’s parts division.
Andy Bruce, chief executive, 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. Both the motor and parts divisions have produced excellent results. Operational cash flow for the period was particularly positive, strengthening the balance sheet further.
‘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.’
Looking at results, Joshua Raymond chief market strategist of cityindex.co.uk, told Car Dealer: ‘This is higher than shareholders were expecting as sales jumped for the first six months, helping the firm to report a 36 per cent rise H1 profits of £40.2m. Earlier estimates were for a full year profit (before tax) of closer to £57m.
‘The market was expecting a strong half-year from Lookers, particularly after rival Pendragon released forecast beating earnings just last week, and that is what they got. Shares rose more than two per cent in early trading on Wednesday as a result.’