In a note, analysts described the results as "very encouraging", and only held back by larger than anticipated losses in its used car supermarkets. Brewin Dolphin upgraded Lookers shares from a Hold to an Add recommendation.
It added: "On current trade, results to date are in line and early March volumes are ahead of this time last year. This is very good news as Q1 is especially important for Lookers as it contains both the Northern Ireland (January) and UK (March) plate-change months and also the Q1 volume bonuses."
"Trading is in line with expectations, sales for the first weekend of March are ahead of this time last year and circa 80% of plan has already been achieved. We estimate that Q1 is worth circa 34% of total annual profit before tax so this is very encouraging."