The share price of automotive retailer Lookers (LON: LOOK) (LOOK.L) has risen by around 10% in the past month. This is higher than the 3.5% return posted by the FTSE All-Share Index (INDEXFTSE: ASX) over the same time period.
In that time, the company has released a first quarter trading update for the period to 31 March. This was released on 8 April and confirmed that its dealerships remained closed during the period. It was, however, able to take orders and fulfil vehicle handovers via digital avenues and through its call centres.
As a result, the company sold over 44,000 new and used vehicles. This compares to a figure of 49,000 for the same period of the previous year. Combined with its aftersales performance and a strong control of costs, this meant that its performance was ahead of management expectations.
Lookers reported flat like-for-like new vehicle sales against a backdrop of decline. For example, UK market figures for new car registrations for retail and fleet customers were 12% lower in the first quarter. The firm achieved a market share of around 7%, according to its update.
In used vehicles, Lookers reported a decline in like-for-like sales of 6%. It has continued to focus on strong inventory management that aided its margins. In aftersales, the firm’s like-for-like revenue was 3% below the prior year period.
Looking ahead, it remains cautious about its financial outlook due to weak consumer sentiment and ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. However, as a result of its better-than-expected performance in the first quarter, it now expects underlying profit before tax for the full year to be ahead of previous forecasts.
As well as its first quarter update, Lookers has also released news of a director change in the past month. On 13 April it announced that Heather Jackson would step down as a non-executive director on 30 April. The firm will look to develop its management team over the coming months, according to its news release.
In the past year, the Lookers share price has risen by 180%. Over the past five years it is down by 47%. The FTSE All-Share Index is up 25% in the past year, while it has moved 20% up in the past five years. The company’s shares currently trade at 69p at the time of writing.
Not Investment Advice
Note: Views expressed are those of the writer. The author does not own any stocks mentioned. The article is information, not advice. Share prices can rise and fall. Past returns are not a guide to the future. Please do your own research.