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‘Impressive’ used car performance powers Lookers in Q1

Used cars helped Lookers deliver a strong performance in the three months to 31 March.

Used car turnover rose 8% and gross profit from used vehicles rose 6%compared to the same period in 2017.

The performance is notable given the strong comparative. Last year in Q1 Lookers used car turnover rose by 30% or 18% on a like-for-like basis with gross profit up 23% compared to the prior year and 17% on a like-for-like basis.

Analyst with Zeus Capital Mike Allen said the Lookers used delivery was strong. “The performance in used cars was once again impressive… we believe this demonstrates the best trends in the sector,” he said.

Lookers’ new car turnover fell 4%, outperforming the overall new car market which fell 12% during the period. Gross profit from new cars fall by 8% for the period

Aftersales, which accounts for 41% of total gross profits saw a marginal increase in turnover with gross profit ahead 2%.

During the period Lookers sold two properties on a sale and leaseback deal which gave it £30m to help fund acquisitions.

Lookers said the ongoing environment for new cars was one of “subdued consumer confidence” but it was holding up well.

It said its strong balance sheet meant it was in a strong position to acquire new businesses as the sector consolidated.

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