Lookers warns over possible temporary suspension of dealing in its shares


Car dealership group Lookers has warned its shares could be suspended from trading if it fails to hit a deadline to publish annual results.

The Altrincham-based group also revealed today that its auditor, Deloitte, will resign once the figures for December 31, 2019, are finally published.

On June 4, Lookers announced that its results were expected to be published by June 30, subject to the conclusion of banking discussions and the completion of the audit process.

In the same announcement the business revealed it was planning to close 12 more dealerships and axe 1,500 jobs.

The delay in publishing its results is linked to an announcement earlier this year that it had identified potentially fraudulent transactions in one of its operating divisions.

The June 4 statement also revaled that the Grant Thornton investigation was nearing its completion and that a draft of the Grant Thornton report had been shared with Deloitte for review in the context of their audit opinion.

Lookers said today that, having discussed the draft report with Deloitte and with that report to be finalised, the company has concluded that the additional procedures that the company and Deloitte will now need to perform to finalise the 2019 results means that it will not be possible to publish them by June 30.

This is the last date permitted for publication of the 2019 results under the Financial Conduct Authority’s Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

After consultation with the FCA, if the 2019 results are not published by June 30, the company anticipates that trading in its shares will be temporarily suspended with effect from 7am on July 1, until publication of the 2019 results.

Lookers said it aims to publish the results by no later than the end of August 2020.

It said: “The board and the company’s finance team is working closely with Deloitte and is developing an action plan to ensure that the additional work required to allow publication of 2019 results is completed as soon as possible.”

It added: “Deloitte has indicated to the company that it intends to resign as auditor following the publication of the 2019 results. The company is currently engaged in a competitive tender process to appoint a new auditor.”