AHG managing director Bronte Howson. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian.
AHG managing director Bronte Howson. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian.

UPDATE 2.20pm: Car dealer and logistics firm Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) has lifted its full-year profit by 12.5 per cent to $72.9 million.

Operating profit was up 11 per cent to a record $78.5 million for the year to June 30.

The result came on revenue of $4.7 billion, up 9.8 per cent on the previous year.

The company has declared a final dividend of 12.5 cents a share fully franked, bringing its annual payout to shareholders to 21 cents a share, up one cent on last year.

AHG managing director Bronte Howson said the result was in line with expectations despite seasonal challenges in refrigerated logistics and the slowdown in automotive retailing caused by reduced activity in the resources sectors in WA.

"Once again we've benefitted from strong performances from our established automotive dealerships while successfully integrating acquisitions and developing additional greenfield sites, all of which provide significant future upside," he said.

"The refrigerated logistics result reflects the impacts of disruption caused by flooding in NSW and Queensland and droughts in the Riverina, and more than $2 million in one-off start-up costs associated with new cold stores in Perth and Adelaide.

"Those investments and our recent acquisitions provide a solid base for sustainable growth in shareholder returns in future years."

AHG said it expected to complete the acquisition of the Bradstreet Group in the Newcastle region of NSW in the next week, adding 13 franchises and seven dealership locations.

Mr Howson said he expected the recent acquisitions of Scott's, JAT and Bradstreet would add about $600 million to group revenues in FY2015.

"AHG's balance sheet remains strong, with capacity to support the group's core strategy of delivering long term stable earnings through organic growth, greenfield development and strategic acquisitions in automotive and logistics," the company said in a statement.

Shares in AHG closed off two cents at $3.80.

The West Australian

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