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Lookers still confident despite drop in profits

Lookers’ profits have taken a pummelling falling from £38.3 million to £10.2m according to the group’s preliminary results for the year ended December 31, 2008.

Despite the dip in profits, the dealer group’s revenues were up from £1.68 billion to £1.78bn.

Ken Surgenor, Lookers’ chief executive, said: “We continue to believe that 2009 will be challenging for the new car market.

"However, our diversified business model and market-leading aftersales offering, coupled with the actions we have taken across our franchise operations and the £12m of cost savings in the current financial year mean that we are well placed to weather the uncertain economic environment, take advantage of any opportunities which may arise and emerge from this downturn as a stronger and more efficient business."

Financial highlights

  • Revenue £1.78 billion (2007: £1.68 billion)
  • Adjusted profit from operations £33.9 million (2007: £40.0 million)
  • Profit from operations £10.2 million (2007: £38.3 million)
  • Adjusted profit before tax £14.0 million (2007: £24.5 million)
  • Loss before tax £14.9 million (2007: profit £23.0 million)
  • Adjusted earnings per share 5.34p (2007: 9.81p)
  • Loss per share 8.82p (2007: earnings 9.09p)
  • Discussions with existing finance providers to put in new facilities to April 2012 well advanced.

Operational highlights

  • Resilient performance against difficult market backdrop
  • Strong performance from independent aftermarket parts division
  • Product ranges expanded
  • National infrastructure strengthened
  • Strategic review of franchise network completed
  • Exited 21 satellite and main market operations
  • Dual franchised a further seven businesses
  • Successful cost reduction programme generating annualised savings of approximately £12m
  • Group well positioned to trade through downturn
  • Strong first quarter performance in 2009

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