Shares of Manchester-based Lookers plc, the UK’s biggest car dealership, rose about 12% after it reported a strong first-quarter trading update for the three months ending March 31, 2018.
“There continues to be strong momentum in both our used car and aftersales businesses, demonstrating the resilience and diversity of the group’s business model,” said Lookers.
“We have a strong balance sheet which continues to be supported by operational cash flow and our level of net debt to EBITDA has improved.
“We also have substantial headroom in our bank facilities which gives us flexibility and capacity to develop the business through further acquisitions at a time when there are significant consolidation opportunities within the sector.
“The financial performance of the group in the period demonstrates the effectiveness of our strategy of having the right brands in the right locations.
“The trading performance since March has been encouraging and we expect to make further positive progress during the year.”