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Lookers’ preliminary results

Lookers’ record preliminary results have highlighted how ‘undervalued’ Pendragon’s offer was for the company, according to Ken Surgenor, chief executive.

The company's adjusted pre-tax profits have risen by 28% to £18 million for the year ending December 31 2005.

In its preliminary results statement the company revealed turnover was up 13% to £1.23 billion (2004: £1.09bn) and adjusted operating profit was up 31% to £27.1 million (2004: £20.7 million). Lookers said that over 70% of gross-profit came from non-new car business.

Pendragon’s 725 pence per share offer at the start of this month valued Lookers at £258.8m.

“It is ironic that at a time when Lookers is the subject of a bid at a level which represents significant under value for Lookers shareholders, the board of Lookers announces another record year with its strongest ever set of results,” said Surgenor.

“These outstanding results demonstrate the effectiveness of management’s commitment to their stated strategy as we continue to create shareholder value, outperforming in each of our key markets. In the current year, we have made an excellent start and trading is significantly ahead of the board’s expectations across all areas of our business,” he added.

Used car sales were up 23% due to the acquisition of two used car supermarkets. Aftersales volumes were up 36% after the acquisition of APEC Limited and a ‘strong performance from FPS’.

The company said it would see a ‘significant contribution from recent acquisitions’ towards its 2006 results, which it said were already ahead of set targets.

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