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Lookers strengthens as profits remain stable

AM100 car dealer group Lookers turned in a stable performance in 2011, its financial results announced this morning reveal.

Revenues totalled £1.9bn, up from £1.88bn the preceding year, while profit before tax increased to £31.4m from £31.1m.

Adjusted profit before tax increased to £33.8m (2010: £33.6m), operational cash flow improved at £58m (2010: £53.4m), and net debt reduced significantly at £39.5m (2010: £56.6m).

Gearing was down to 20% (2010: 31%).

Lookers said there was a strong trading performance from both the motor division and the group's market leading independent parts division, as well as a further reduction in the cost base.

The group's share of the UK new car retail market increased to 4.1%.

New car sales volumes were up 1.1% overall with fleet volumes up 25%, despite the new car market reducing by 4.4%.

Used car sales volumes were up 2.5% against a flat UK market.

Chief executive Peter Jones (pictured) said: "We have had three successive years of increased profits, which have been delivered in difficult market circumstances.

"Operating cash flow continues to be strong and this has further strengthened our balance sheet.

"These results give us confidence that we can continue to grow the business in 2012, despite short term market conditions remaining challenging. As economic conditions improve over the medium term, the business is well placed to take advantage from future growth in the new and used car markets and increased demand for aftersales and parts." 

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