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Lookers acquires used car supermarket

Top 10 AM100 dealer Lookers (9) has announced ahead of its annual meeting today the acquisition of Ian Shepton Cars (IS Cars), a used car supermarket in Burton-on-Trent.

Lookers is paying approximately £12.0m for the trading name and assets of the business.

At today’s annual meeting, Fred Maguire, Lookers chairman, will make the following statement: “The company made good progress again last year and further consolidated its position as one of the UK’s leading motor retail groups through a series of strategic acquisitions and significant investment across the business.”

Lookers says, IS Cars, which sells around 7,000 vehicles a year, will add £50m to turnover. The value of the net assets bought is approximately £9m and the profits attributable to these assets were approximately £1.0m for the year ended June 30, 2004.

IS Cars is the second used car supermarket acquired by Lookers this year, coming on the back of the purchase of Bristol Trade Centre (BTC) in January.

IS Cars will continue to trade under its existing name as a separate division within Lookers. Senior operational management will remain in place.

Lookers also said the remainder of 2005 would benefit from the introduction of several new models being introduced by its manufacturer partners, including the launch of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, the Range Rover Sport and the new Lexus GS.

In addition, the contributions from FPS Distribution Limited (FPS) and BTC, Lookers says, which are not impacted by the new car market, have been strong.

“This year will see the positive effect on operating profits of the rationalisation decisions taken in 2004, including our decision to exit the MG Rover franchise. The costs of this were fully provided for in the last financial year,” said Maguire.

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