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Lookers' investors warned of hit to profitability

Lookers has informed the London Stock Exchange this morning that it doesn't expect profits to exceed £10 million by the year end.

Analsyst had forecast £15-18m originally, and the comparable profit figure for 2007 was £24.5m. Given the market outlook and forecast for 2009, Lookers is not recommending a dividend.

"The company continues to be cash generative reflecting its operating performance and the tight control of working capital," said its statement.

It is complying with its financing arrangements and is currently engaged with its finance providers to ensure that these remain appropriate for the anticipated market conditions in 2009.

Lookers said its restructuring programme is ahead of plan. By the end of the year it will have closed 21 dealerships, which combined with other rationalisations will achieve £7.5m of annual cost savings.

Strong focus remains on its aftermarket businesses, and used car volumes and margins have begun to increase, although remain below previous levels.

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