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Lookers positive despite challenging marketplace

Lookers said this week it is “making progress” against the challenging new car market thanks to a broad spread of businesses and the return to profitability of its used car supermarkets.

Chairman Phil White told Tuesday’s annual general meeting that providing there is no significant downturn in the economy, the group expects to have a positive year.

First quarter trading saw Lookers suffer a 5% drop in new car registrations and a 1% fall in used car sales.

White said the decline was mostly caused by Lookers’ Northern Ireland business, branded Charles Hurst, as the new car market there has declined sharply.

Growth has been achieved in its aftermarket parts distribution business, and some FPS branches will be relocated this year to support this improvement.

White said the recently acquired Dutton Forshaw and Bramall & Jones VW dealerships strengthen the group’s position, and will provide further growth.

“These, together with the continuing investment in our aftermarket parts division, and the turnaround in the car supermarkets, will contribute positively to the current year,” said White.

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