Lookers on the up in profit surge

CAR dealer Lookers yesterday reported a “record trading performance” as profit surged by a third.

First-half pre-tax profit was £22.7m – 29 per cent up on the £17.6m it made in the same period a year earlier. Sales were £988.3m, compared with £870.4m.

New car sales increased by a quarter despite fears over consumer confidence and government cuts.

The parts division will help the firm weather these conditions, it added.

Chief executive Peter Jones said: “We have delivered a record trading performance in the first six months of 2010 and we are very encouraged by this result.’

He added: “The strong performance from both the parts and motor divisions, a reduced cost base together with significant positive operational cashflow which has strengthened the balance sheet, gives us confidence that we can continue to grow the business.”

Lookers operates 120 retail outlets covering 32 brands.

Earlier this month, industry figures showed monthly car sales fell in July for the first time in a year.

Much of that decline was put down to the end of the vehicle scrappage scheme in which consumers were encouraged via incentives to scrap their old vehicle to replace witha new car from the showroom, in a bid to boost the ailing industry.