Lookers first-half revenue up 5% to £2.6bn

Lookers CEO Andy Bruce

Manchester-based car dealership Lookers plc said its turnover increased 5% to £2.58 billion in the six months to June 30, but adjusted profit before tax fell 14% to £43.1 million in “a challenging market.”

Interim dividend per share will rise 5% to 1.48p.

Lookers said it has had an “encouraging” level of orders of new cars for the important month of September and it is on course to meet market expectations for the full year.

Lookers CEO Andy Bruce said: “I am pleased with our performance over the first half of the year, which has been delivered despite ongoing challenging market conditions.

“Although profits, excluding a profit of £7.6 million on the sale of a property, are down on last year, as expected, this was due to a very strong comparative period, driven by record new car sales ahead of the decline seen across the market from April 2017.

“Against this backdrop, we continue to show good strategic momentum, winning market share and outperforming the wider industry, demonstrating the benefits of our clear strategy of having the right brands in the right locations, with a well invested dealership portfolio combined with excellent execution.

“We are also benefiting from our scale and our diversified business model which has resulted in revenue and gross profit growth across both used cars and aftersales.

“Looking forward, we have an encouraging level of orders for the important month of September.

“Whilst the new car market has seen further reductions in 2018, the decrease appears to have stabilised and volumes remain at a historically high level.

“Based on our first half performance we expect to meet market expectations for the full year.”