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UPDATE 1-Auto dealer Lookers appoints retail veteran Bielby as interim CFO

(Adds details on Bielby, background)

Jan 6 (Reuters) - British car dealership Lookers Plc on Wednesday named retail veteran Anna Bielby as the company’s interim finance chief, filing in the role vacant since Mark Raban was promoted as chief executive officer in February.

The auto retailer has been shuffling its top management since 2019, when it sounded profit warnings and was hit by an accounting investigation.

Bielby, a chartered accountant, worked with auditing firm PwC for 14 years and was also the chief financial officer at telecom company KCOM Group. The appointment was effective Tuesday, Lookers said.

Bielby faces an uphill task as Lookers posted an annual loss in November due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has rolled out a restructuring plan. The company may face further pressure with Brexit-related costs and as the country headed into a fresh lockdown.

British new car sales fell nearly 30% last year in their biggest annual drop since World War Two due to measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, a trade industry body said on Wednesday.

Lookers did not provide details on its search for a permanent CFO.

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Sriraj Kalluvila

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