LONDON (Reuters) -- Britain's fourth-largest car dealer group, Lookers, forecast better-than-expected 2014 results on Wednesday after seeing strong new car sales, particularly in the busy month of September when the country's license plate changes take effect.
The London-listed firm, which sells nearly 120,000 new and used vehicles in Britain every year, said retail new car sales rose 12 percent in the first nine months of the year and used car volumes increased by 5 percent in the same period compared with a strong performance in 2013.
Lookers has benefited from a recovery in the new vehicle market, with British new car sales hitting a 10-year high in September, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Lookers said its full-year results would be "slightly ahead of current market expectations, which will represent a significant increase over the result for the previous financial year."
The car dealer has grown profits for five successive years, outperforming the country's wider car sales market which showed steep falls in 2008 and 2009.
Analysts at Liberum said consensus forecasts were likely to nudge up after the update, which showed Lookers continued to grow ahead of a strong British car market.
They upgraded their own pretax profit forecast slightly from 60 million pounds to 61 million pounds (about 77 million euros).