Auto retailer Lookers posts first year loss, starts restructuring plan

Business News

Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - Auto retailer Lookers Plc reported a full-year loss on Wednesday due to car dealership closures during the COVID-19 pandemic and said it had started a restructuring plan, resulting in about 1,500 job cuts.

The company, which delayed the publication of its 2019 results since March due to accounting issues, reported a loss before tax of 45.5 million pounds for the full year, compared with a profit of 41.9 million pounds a year earlier.

Lookers had identified potentially fraudulent transactions at one of its units in March and extended the probe in August to last year’s accounts.

“The last twelve months have been extremely challenging for Lookers with the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and the accounting issues. Significant restructuring activity has been necessary to ensure we lay the right foundations for the future,” Executive Chairman Phil White said.

In August, the company had warned weak demand and margin pressures would push it to a pre-tax loss for the first half of 2020.