Shares of Altrincham-based car dealership Lookers plc rose about 12% after it announced the start of a share buyback programme of up to £15 million and said in a third-quarter trading update that it now “expects underlying profit before tax for 2022 to be ahead of its previous expectations and to report no less than £75m.”
In its outlook, Lookers said: “The board is encouraged by the strength of trading in Q3 and the early start to Q4, and we continue to maintain a strong new car order bank, which is above historical normalised levels.
“Although we are pleased with the recent positive trading performance, the availability of new vehicles continues to be a factor limiting our growth.
“We are also cautious on how consumer spending might be affected during the remainder of this financial year, with inflation, higher interest rates and wider economic uncertainty.
“Notwithstanding these factors, given the strength of performance in the period, the board now expects underlying profit before tax for 2022 to be ahead of its previous expectations and to report no less than £75m.”
Lookers CEO Mark Raban said: “We have built on the strong first half trading momentum, particularly in the important month of September with the arrival of a new registration plate.
“We remain mindful of ongoing supply chain disruption and significant inflationary pressures affecting consumers and businesses alike.
“However, our intense focus on driving self-help operational efficiencies across the business and ensuring ongoing strong vehicle margin retention means that we are increasing our profit expectations for the full year.”