Trading in the summer was better than expected thanks to pent-up demand after months of closures
The car dealer expects both to be published in November, while shares will remain suspended until the results are out since October 31 is the last date permitted for the publication under the Financial Conduct Authority’s transparency rules.
Accountant Grant Thornton found misrepresented and overstated debtor balances in respect of supplier bonuses and fraudulent expense claims in June, then in August it expanded it to include corporate leasing division and vehicle financing arrangements in 2018 and previous years.
Back to recent trading, Lookers said it expects underlying profits before tax made in the third quarter to offset a “material” loss in the first half caused by enforced closures.
The fourth quarter is forecast to benefit from the restructuring programme but it remains mindful of uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Trading in the three months to September 30, 2020, was better than expected, Lookers said in a trading update, highlighting a significant outperformance of the UK retail new car market, robust like-for-like growth in both used car sales and aftersales revenues.
In the third quarter, the group sold over 42,000 new retail and used cars, 13.6% higher than the same period last year thanks to pent-up demand from over two months of closure and the trend of private car use instead of public transport.
Lookers outperformed the UK market for new vehicles, with sales up 27%, while SMMT UK market figures for new car registrations to retail and fleet customers were broadly flat.
At period-end, Looker’s net debt was £22.5mln, down from £132mln in 2019, while the car retailer expects £12mln of cash from disposals to be received before December 31, 2020.
–Adds investigation details–
Read More: Lookers PLC still waiting for results to be signed off by auditor