A jump in used-car sales helped dealership giant Lookers post pre-tax profits of £90million and boost revenue to more than £4billion in its last financial year.
The Greater Manchester-based company previously had sales of £3.6bn and profits of £1.5m in the year to December 31, 2020.
Revenue from used vehicles sold in 2021 has risen from almost £1.8bn to over £2bn, while gross profit from these sales has risen to £117.9m sterling to £180.3 million.
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New vehicle revenue also increased from £1.7 billion to £1.8 billion, with gross profit rising from £109.2 million to £131.3 million.
The financial results come after the owner of WeBuyAnyCar.com and Cinch acquired a nearly 20% stake in Lookers in January.
Chief Executive Mark Raban said: “2021 has been a banner year for Lookers. We have gone through another year of limited new vehicle supply and Covid-19 related disruptions.
“We have had excellent earnings and cash generation, thanks to strong margins on used cars, a continued focus on costs and the tireless efforts of our people.
“We have successfully returned to a net equity position in the business and have a strong balance sheet, backed by our property assets, supporting our investment capacity to grow the business.
“The business and our customers face some uncertainties in 2022.
“Trading in the first quarter was strong despite the supply of new vehicles remaining tight.
“The current crisis in Ukraine and significant increases in the cost of living will put pressure on consumer confidence and disposable incomes.
“However, the group looks to the future with confidence.
“He emerged from the challenges of the past two years stronger and with a clear strategy to meet future challenges and create value for all our stakeholders.”
On its outlook, the group added: “In January, the board of directors was delighted to welcome Constellation Automotive Group as a significant shareholder of the group.
“Their investment confirms the board’s view that the group has excellent prospects and is significantly undervalued.
“The 19.9% stake was purchased from Tony Bramall and his family, who remain shareholders in the group, and the board would like to thank Tony for his years of service as a director and for his support of Lookers .
“We are aware of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, the deeply concerning current crisis in Ukraine and the significant increases in the cost of living which are putting pressure on disposable incomes, which means some uncertainty for the company and our customers over the next few months.
“New car supply challenges also remain an issue and one that has continued in the current fiscal year.
“However, we feel relatively well placed given our strong relationships with manufacturers and the operational improvements we have made and are bringing to the business.
“The group’s good cash flow and strengthened balance sheet, supported by some £290m of property assets, enables us to fund our expansion and strategic initiatives.
“Our order bank remains strong and current trading is encouraging.
“In conclusion, the group looks to the future with confidence. It emerged from the challenges of the past two years stronger and with a clear strategy to meet future challenges and create value for all our stakeholders.”