Britons' appetite for new cars has continued unabated, helping drive a sharp rise in first-half sales and profits at one of the country's biggest car dealers.
Lookers, which sells nearly 120,000 new and used vehicles a year, said pre-tax profits surged 38% to pounds 38m in the six months to June, with sales up 29% to pounds 1.6bn. It now expects to beat market forecasts with pre-tax profits of pounds 60m for the full year, thanks to record car sales.
New car sales have risen each month for two years, defying the slowdown in other European markets. Analysts say Britons have been seduced by cheap finance and heavy discounting, but the market looks set to cool next year.
He forecast that the pent-up demand left over from the recession should tail off over the next 12 months. He also expects carmakers to scale back their efforts to drive
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