Car dealer Lookers profits from 'record trading'
Car dealer Lookers has reported "record trading performance" and a sharp rise in profits for the first half year, as revenue rose and costs fell.
Pre-tax profit came in at £22.7m, up 29% on the £17.6m it made in the same period a year earlier. Revenue was £988.3m compared with £870.4m.
New car sales increased by a quarter "despite difficult market conditions", the company said.
The parts division will help the firm weather these conditions, it added.
"We have delivered a record trading performance in the first six months of 2010 and we are very encouraged by this result," said the group's chief executive Peter Jones.
"The strong performance from both the parts and motor divisions, a reduced cost base together with significant positive operational cashflow which has strengthened the balance sheet, give us confidence that we can continue to grow the business."
Lookers is one of the UK's biggest car retail and distribution groups. Its franchised businesses operate more than 120 retail outlets covering 32 brands.
Earlier this month, industry figures showed monthly car sales fell in July for the first time in a year.
This was largely due to the fact that the government scrappage scheme had boosted sales in the same month a year earlier.