Lookers Underlying Profit Rises Despite Covid-19 Challenges

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Vehicle Retailer The viewers said turnover of £ 3.7bn in preliminary results on Thursday, up from £ 4.8bn a year earlier, which the board attributed to the impact of the lockdown and trade restrictions throughout the year.

The London-listed company said its underlying profit before tax was £ 14.1m for the year ended Dec.31, up from £ 4m year-on-year, with a “good performance “in the second half, largely offsetting a difficult first half.

Statutory profit before tax was £ 2.0m compared to a loss before tax of £ 45.7m in 2019.

Lookers reported an outperformance of the UK new car retail market by 9.6 percentage points, with “resilient trade” in used cars and aftermarket.

During the year, it carried out a “significant” restructuring, reducing its workforce, strengthening its operating model and significantly reducing its cost base.

Lookers said it was on track to achieve annualized savings of around £ 50million.

The company said it has a “strong” balance sheet, with a valuation of the property portfolio of £ 300million, or 77p per share.

It has declared a net cash position of around £ 18million currently, as it has agreed to an extension of a revolving credit facility with its existing banking partners for an initial amount of £ 150million.

Lookers also noted that a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigation into its historic sale processes ended without sanctions, resulting in the release of the £ 10.4million provision from the previous year.

“2020 has been a difficult year for the group, faced with both the impact of Covid-19 and the problems inherited from the Group,” said Chief Executive Officer Mark Raban.

“We are coming out of this operationally, financially and culturally as a better company, focused on putting the customer at the center of everything we do. “

Raban said the company expects to capitalize on the company’s “strong momentum”, underpinned by its relationships with manufacturers, its “omnichannel” technology platform and its people.

“We are now in an excellent position to take advantage of the many growth opportunities available to the business. “

At 0831 BST, Lookers shares were up 0.4% to 70.98p.



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