Lookers results delayed as it reports strong trading

Altrincham-based car dealership Lookers plc on Monday announced a “short delay” to the publication of its results for the year ended December 31, 2020.

Lookers also published a trading update for the current financial year to date reporting “strong momentum in trading” and a “significant upgrade” to its full year 2021 expectations.

“Lookers today announces a short delay to the publication of its preliminary financial results for the year ended 31 December 2020,” said the company.

“Procedures in relation to the group’s 2020 Annual Report & Accounts are almost complete and we are not aware of any material issues.

“However, the board and the group’s new auditors, BDO LLP, require slightly more time to conclude the audit process.

“In light of the above, and following discussions with its auditors, the group’s scheduled announcement of the 2020 results, at 7am on 29 June 2021, will be delayed.

“The board is mindful that under the Financial Conduct Authorities amended Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules, the group’s 2020 results need to be published by 30 June 2021.

“The board’s view is that this timetable is still achievable, but some timing risk still exists in the completion of audit processes.”

In its trading update, Lookers said: “As previously announced on 25 May 2021, trading in the four-month period to 30 April 2021 was strong.

“These positive trends have continued into May and June where we have seen robust consumer demand and ongoing outperformance of the UK retail new car market.

“Used vehicle margins also remain strong benefitting from improving residual values and greater operational focus.

“In addition to these market trends the group continues to benefit from its enhanced hybrid omni-channel customer offer, and the decisive self-help restructuring initiatives implemented last year.

“As we look forward into the second half of 2021 there remains some uncertainty driven by the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and notable supply restrictions in both new and used vehicles, which have been tightening in recent weeks.

“Notwithstanding these uncertainties, given the strength of performance during the first half of 2021, the board expects the full year performance to 31 December 2021 to be significantly ahead of current expectations.”

Management compiled analyst consensus for underlying profit before tax for the full year ended December 31, 2021, is currently £40 million.

Lookers CEO Mark Raban said: “Performance in the first six months of the year has been exceptionally strong underpinned by our relentless focus on operational excellence, strong consumer demand, significant market outperformance and a much improved omni-channel customer experience.”