For the nine months ending 30 September, trading volumes and gross profit were down 7% and 5% in the new car market, reflecting weak market conditions, supply shortages and a new testing regime. However, Lookers’ margins and profit per unit were greater than the previous year. The final quarter’s vehicle sales are expected to increase with the easing of supply issues.
In the used car market, turnover and gross profit both increased by 10%, contributing 27% to total gross profit. The aftersales business, representing 42% of total gross profit, reported a 5% and 6% increase in turnover and gross profit.
Operational cash flow was considerably higher than the previous year. Sale proceeds amounting to £35m from sale of three properties, contributed to the strong cash flow.
The Board believes that results for the year ending 31 December 2018 will be in line with current market expectations.