Lookers revenue £2.5bn, but shares fall on outlook

Lookers CEO Andy Bruce

Manchester-based Lookers plc, the UK’s biggest car dealership, said its revenue increased 5% to £2.46 billion in the six months to June 30, but its share price fell about 6% as it warned of a “softening in the new car market” and “uncertainty in the UK economy.”

Lookers profit before tax slipped to £44.6 million from £46.7 million for the same period last year.

Nonetheless, Lookers will increase its interim dividend 10% to 1.41p per share.

In his outlook, Lookers chairman Phil White said: ” … we have seen a softening in the new car market in recent months.

“Furthermore, the current political environment, Brexit and weaker exchange rates have created a degree of uncertainty in the UK economy, which is unhelpful and we therefore view the second half of the year with some caution.

“However, based on the first half performance, the board believes that the results for the year ending 31 December 2017 should be in line with management’s current expectations.”

Lookers CEO Andy Bruce said“I am pleased to announce an excellent set of results for the first half of the year with growth across all areas of the business.

“We continue to produce record levels of profit which is evidence of the success of our expansive and resilient business model.

“We have made good progress with our strategy of having the right brands in the right locations with excellent execution and have managed our portfolio of dealerships to reflect that.

“Our order book for new cars for the important month of September is continuing to build in line with our expectations and the new car market for this year is still forecast to be at a historically high level.

“We therefore believe that the company is well positioned to continue its strong performance and deliver sustainable value to shareholders.”