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Lookers predicts strong 2001 performance

Lookers' profits for the first quarter of the year are well ahead of last year with the company predicting a “strong” performance in 2001.

In a statement made at the dealer group's annual meeting today, chairman Fred Maguire said the strategy to win 'customers for life', which had helped Lookers in 2000 increase UK car sales by 26% in a national market up by 1.1%, was continuing to pay off this year.

“This good progress has continued into the current year alongside the continued return of consumer confidence to the new car market. In this more encouraging trading environment, we continued to outperfom the market with mainland new car sales up by 20% in the first quarter on a like for like basis, against a market up 2.2%,” Mr Maguire said.

He said that Lookers was looking to make further acquisitions.

“We will continue to participate in the process of consolidation within the industry where attractive opportunities are identified.” Lookers has completed the purchase of Henlys Chester, a Renault outlet, as well as opening a new Renault dealership in Macclesfield.

“I am pleased to report that profits for the first three months of the current financial year are well ahead of the comparable period last year and in excess of our budget for the same period. The board expects a strong performance for the year as a whole,” Mr Magiure said.

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