Sales, acquisitions boost transport giant

Warren Barnsley

SYDNEY, Aug 14 AAP – Vehicle retailer and logistics company Automotive Holdings is confident a downturn in Australia’s mining boom will not hurt its profit growth.


The Western Australia-based company lifted its full year net profit 21 per cent in 2014/15 to a record $88.1 million.

It thanked new acquisitions, including Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways and Bradstreet Motor Group, for the result.

Automotive’s managing director Bronte Howson said despite an exodus of resource workers from Australia’s north, the company was in a position to improve its bottom line in 2016.

“We see it will be a challenging year in Western Australia,” Mr Howson said.

“In refrigeration, we’ve suffered slightly there from the downturn in mining as there’s a lot less food being carted to the north.”

But the company’s automotive retail division, which includes a network of around 100 dealerships across the country, performed well.

Profit in its vehicle sales businesses was up over 35 per cent.

“The strength of the group is obviously our national footprint and we’re doing extremely well in New South Wales, which is up in automotive,” Mr Howson said.

“We purchased the Bradstreet Motor Group in Newcastle and that was a very strong acquisition – certainly a big portion of our growth.”

The company boosted its revenue for the year to June 30 nearly 11 per cent to $5.2 billion and is expecting another strong year in 2015/16.

It said it will focus more on better integrating current acquisitions into its operations than undertaking new investments.

“Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways was a big company and you don’t just integrate something like that in 12 months,” said Mr Howson

“It’s all about completing the integration and taking benefits from synergies.”

AHG shares closed up 17 cents, or 4.11 per cent, higher at $4.31.


* Full year net profit up 20.8pct to $88.1m

* Revenue up 10.8pct to $5.2b

* Fully franked final dividend up half a cent at 13 cents