Lookers will be looking to buy

The car dealership Lookers is set for an acquisition spree after a review of the business concluded that its best way forward was to expand rather than split up its car retail and parts businesses.

Lookers, which resisted a takeover attempt in June, relied heavily on its parts business in the first six months of 2011 as an increase in the number of cash-strapped motorists retaining and repairing their cars offset plunging new car sales.

The group's profits were just short of last year's first-half record at £21.3m, even though new car sales tumbled by 12.7 per cent. Its revenues rose by 1.4 per cent to £1bn.