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Lookers used car and parts profits combat challenging franchised sector sales

In a trading statement this morning ahead of its half-year results, Lookers said its diversified business model gives it the flexibility to adapt to current uncertainties in the economy.

The group reported that its franchised dealership division has been impacted by industry declines in like-for-like sales against 2007's performance, and a decline in the market in Northern Ireland, where it trades as Charles Hurst, has continued through May and June.

But the statement was more upbeat about the Dutton Forshaw businesses that Lookers acquired last year.

It also reported a return to profit at its used car supermarkets, and stated that its independent parts distribution business, which includes FPS, has maintained a strong start to the year, despite the impact of increasing fuel prices.

"Our diversified business model and solid financial structure give us the flexibility to adapt to the current uncertainties within the UK and global economies.

"As always, we continue to review the return generated by each business unit, particularly in light of the current tougher market conditions, and to take the necessary remedial action," the statement added.

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