Lookers shares up on profit guidance, dividend news

Shares of Altrincham-based car dealership Lookers plc rose as much as 7% on Thursday after it published a strong trading update for the six months to June 30, 2021, and revealed an increase in its expectations for underlying profit before tax for the full year.

Lookers also said it intends to resume the payment of dividends as soon as possible

“The group has delivered an excellent trading performance throughout the period, despite continued disruption and uncertainty caused by Covid-19,” said Lookers.

“This positive momentum has been driven by continued outperformance of the UK new retail car market combined with strong used volumes and margins, underpinned by Lookers’ improved hybrid, omni-channel customer experience.

“The results also reflect a resilient aftersales performance and the benefits of material cost reductions.

“As a result of the above, underlying profit before tax in H1 is now expected to be approximately £50m compared to a £36.1m underlying loss last year.”

On dividends, Lookers said: “The board understands the importance of dividends to shareholders and, subject to a satisfactory trading outlook, intends to resume the payment of dividends as soon as possible.

“The board will next review its position in 2022 when releasing its full year results for the period ended 31 December 2021.”

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