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Auto retailer Lookers plans dividend resumption after first-half profit

By Reuters

-UK’s Lookers Plc said on Thursday it plans to resume dividend payments “as soon as possible”, as the auto retailer posted a first-half profit, helped by its digital channels.

The company also named Oliver Laird as its chief financial officer and Ian Bull as non-executive chairman.

Lookers shares were up 1.3% in morning trade.

The company, which sells new and used cars, vans and engages in after-sales activities, said trading during July and August remained strong and exceeded expectations, primarily driven by used vehicle margins.

British new car registrations in August fell 22% year on year, preliminary industry data showed, with the sector still battling pandemic-related supply difficulties.

“The customer order bank (Lookers’) has grown impressively, although we leave our forecasts unchanged given disruption to new vehicle supplies,” Peel Hunt analysts said.

Lookers’ underlying profit before tax for the six months ended June 30 was 50.3 million pounds ($69.27 million), compared with a loss of 36.5 million pounds a year earlier.

($1 = 0.7262 pounds)