Lookers H1 profit falls 27% in ‘challenging’ market

Manchester-based car dealership Lookers plc on Wednesday posted a 27.5% drop in first-half underlying pretax profit to £29.2 million amid what its CEO called “an ongoing backdrop of challenging UK market conditions for the sector.”

Announcing results for the six months ended June 30, 2019, Lookers said revenue rose 2.7% to £2.646 billion.

In June, Lookers made an announcement that the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) intends to carry out an investigation into the company’s sales processes between January 1, 2016 and June 13, 2019. 

On Wednesday, Lookers said: “This investigation has not yet started.

“With the full support of the group, the FCA will reach its conclusions in due course.

“At this stage the board cannot estimate what effect, if any, the outcome of this investigation may have.”

Lookers CEO Andy Bruce said on Wednesday: “Our performance for the first half reflects an ongoing backdrop of challenging UK market conditions for the sector.

“Whilst we are reporting lower profits year-on-year, we have made good progress on a number of strategic initiatives and have a clear investment plan to restructure and strengthen our regulated activities.

“Our balance sheet remains strong including our valuable property portfolio.

“Working closely with our brand partners I am confident in the long-term prospects for the business.

“The board’s current outlook for the full year at the underlying profit before tax level remains unchanged.”

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Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.