Lookers expects profit to exceed market consensus

Shares of Altrincham-based car dealership Lookers plc rose about 8% on Tuesday after it published an update on trading and on the renewal of its bank facility.

Lookers said it now expects underlying profit before tax for 2021 to “comfortably exceed current market consensus” of about £34 million.

Total new vehicle sales were up 26.6% on a like-for-like basis in the four months to April 30 compared to a year before.

Lookers said its revolving credit facility now runs until September 30, 2023, and is for an initial amount of £150 million. The group’s net debt is currently £4 million.

“Building on the momentum of the first quarter of 2021, trading across the group has been strong since the reopening of our dealerships on 12 April,” said Lookers.

“We have benefitted from strong consumer demand combined with significant market out-performance.

“We have also seen improved gross margins and the ongoing benefit of our cost reduction initiatives.

“Customers continue to react positively to our enhanced omni-channel offering.”

Lookers CEO Mark Raban said: “It’s encouraging to see our strong trading momentum continuing with a very positive customer response following the reopening of our dealerships.

“The steps we have taken to evolve and enhance our digital offer are being well received and we have a number of further developments in the pipeline.

“I would like to thank the fantastic Lookers team for their considerable efforts in what has been a very busy period for the business.

“We are pleased to have renewed our banking facility and thank our banking partners for their continued support.”