Lookers has issued a trading statement for the year to December 2022. The group has reported a stronger than expected performance. Underlying profit before tax for the full year ended 31 December 2022 will exceed £80m. This compares with £90.1m the previous year which included £9.8m of COVID support.

CEO Mark Raban said: “We’ve enjoyed a strong close to the year, outperforming the new retail market. This led to an increase in our full year profit expectations. This result was achieved against a context of supply chain disruption and unprecedented inflationary cost pressure.”

Lookers opened ORA showrooms in existing properties and its Lotus showroom in Belfast is expected to open imminently. The group is also representing what it describes as a leading global Chinese EV manufacturer from existing locations in the North East, South Yorkshire and Northern Ireland. In addition, it will represent MG from its existing site in Worcester.

Raban added “Despite a number of ongoing trading headwinds, we have started 2023 confidently.”