Private buyers drive up record profits for Manchester-based car dealership as Britain snubs recession woes

By Dean Wilkins

Record profits for a Manchester-based car dealership have shattered low expectations as Great Britain looks ready to wheel its way back onto the road.

Lookers, which has 120 franchises offering 32 brands at 69 sites across the country, posted profits £24.1million and revealed that buyers for new and used cars were up 11 percent in the first half of the year.

Private buyers have helped the company to grow by 8.7 percent as the economic downturned has been snubbed by the public, however business sales have slumped – the car market is still around 20 percent lower than before the financial crisis began.

But Lookers chief executive Peter Jones remains optimistic about the current climate: “We have made profit gains over the last four years at a time when the market has been at its worst since the mid-1990s.

“There are a lot of great deals from manufacturers about at the moment and now is a great time to buy a new car.”

Gross profits grew by nearly ten percent in the company’s used car division and total revenue rose three percent to £1billion, while social media activities have helped boost the company above their rivals – 40 percent of customer interaction came via Facebook.

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