Lookers PLC Half Year Trading Update

Date : 07/12/2019 @ 7:00AM
Source : UK Regulatory (RNS & others)
Stock : Lookers Plc (LOOK)
Quote : 52.8  -0.2 (-0.38%) @ 4:35PM

Lookers PLC Half Year Trading Update

Lookers (LSE:LOOK)
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3 Months : From Jun 2019 to Sep 2019

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RNS Number : 3053F

Lookers PLC

12 July 2019

12 July 2019

LOOKERS plc

Half Year Trading Update

Lookers plc, ("Lookers" or "the Group"), one of the leading UK motor retail and aftersales service groups, today provides the following pre-close trading update ahead of the publication of its half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2019 ("H1") on 14 August 2019.

H1 Performance

As reported in our AGM statement, trading for the three months ended 31 March 2019 ("Q1") was positive, underpinned by outperformance of the UK new car market and growth in both turnover and gross profit in used vehicles and aftersales.

Whilst the period began satisfactorily, trading during the three months ended 30 June 2019 ("Q2"), against strong comparatives, has proved increasingly more challenging. During Q2 the UK new car market continued to decline with registrations down -4.6% (Q1: -2.4%) versus the comparable period last year. In addition, weaker demand and the resulting margin pressure in the used car market has significantly increased, notably during the month of June in which we took a disciplined approach to managing stock.

Throughout H1 and in line with general retail sector trends the Group has continued to experience cost inflation pressures.

As a result, underlying profit before tax for H1 is expected to be approximately GBP32m* compared to GBP43m* in the comparable period last year.

*Underlying PBT before the proposed reclassification of amortisation on intangible assets.

Review of Regulated Activities

As announced on 25 June 2019, the Group has been informed by the FCA that it intends to carry out an investigation into sales processes between the period of 1 January 2016 to 13 June 2019. The Group continues to co-operate fully with the investigation and will provide a further update at the Interims on the level of investment required to support our improvement plan and other costs associated with this process.

Balance Sheet

The Group's balance sheet remains strong. In December 2018 the Group agreed a new, fully committed GBP250m revolving credit facility with a term to March 2022. At 31 December 2018 the Group had net assets of GBP399m, including freehold and long leasehold property of GBP309m at net book value.

Outlook

Notwithstanding the more challenging market conditions in H1, particularly in Q2, the Group has delivered a robust financial performance underpinned by maintaining its strategy of strong operational execution and focus on the right brands in the right locations.

The Board now expects that the more recent challenging conditions are likely to continue into H2, exacerbated by continued weakness in consumer confidence in light of wider political and economic uncertainty, and further pressure on used car margins. There is also the possibility of new vehicle supply restrictions as new emissions regulations come into force during Q3. In addition, the retail sector cost inflation experienced in H1 is likely to continue to impact earnings during the second half of the year.

As a result of the above factors, the Board's current outlook for underlying profit before tax for the full year is now below its previous expectations.

Notwithstanding these short-term challenges, the Board continues to believe that over the long term the Group is extremely well positioned to take advantage of the many opportunities ahead as the sector continues to develop, underpinned by the Group's strong balance sheet and cash generation.

Notice of Results

The Group intends to report its Half Year results on 14 August 2019.

ENDS

Enquiries

 
 Lookers                                  Tel: 0161 291 0043 
 Andy Bruce, Chief Executive Officer 
 Robin Gregson, Chief Financial Officer 
 MHP Communications                       Tel: 0203 128 8742 
 Tim Rowntree                             Email: Lookers@mhpc.com 
 Simon Hockridge 
  Alistair de Kare-Silver 
 

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No 596/2014

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.

END

TSTDFLFFKDFZBBZ

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 12, 2019 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT)



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