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Sales and profits rose at Lookers in 2010

Car dealer group Lookers recorded a 7.7% increase in turnover to £1.9bn in 2010, while adjusted pre-tax profit rose 19% to £33.6m.

Chief executive Peter Jones said it was a record performance from both its 119-strong group of motor dealerships and its aftermarket parts supply division.

The AM100 group's adjusted operating profit increased to £46.9 million from £45.1 million last year.

Highlights of its motor division performance included new car retail sales 10% ahead of the market, a reduction in low margin fleet sales, a strong aftersales performance and 12% growth in pre-tax profit.

Total new car sales declined 4.8% to 58,390 units, however 39,280 of these were retail sales, a 4.4% increase against a market sector which fell 6.1% nationally.

The parts division increased its pre-tax profit by 11% and expanded the range of product lines carried.

Jones said the group is confident of the opportunities to come this year.

“We have made a good start to 2011 within the business with an above plan performance which, combined with our strengthened balance sheet, places us in a strong position, giving confidence that we will continue to trade successfully and be in a position to pursue selective strategic growth opportunities as they arise.”

The group has strengthened its balance sheet, with net debt reduced to £56.6m from £79m and gearing improved to 31% from 49%.

Net cash inflow improved to £12.4m in 2010 compared with £9.8m in 2009.

Of its £134m banking facilities, £57m net of cash balances is being used, indicating that the group has facilities available for funding further expansion and acquisition.



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