LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - One of Britain's biggest car dealership firms Lookers expects new car sales to rise by about 5 percent this year to an all-time high, its chief executive told Reuters.
New car registrations hit 2.63 million last year, boosted by rising consumer confidence and cheap finance packages, but industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said it expects 2016 sales to remain roughly flat.
The chief executive of Lookers, which operates from more than 150 dealerships across Britain and Ireland and posted a 6 percent rise in full-year pre-tax profit on Wednesday, said he thought the market would continue to grow.
"There is some pent-up demand to fill," Andy Bruce told Reuters, referring to a drop in sales during the 2007-2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession.
"Our own view is that there will be single digit growth this year ... 5 percent," he said. (Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Alexander Smith)