NT News

Profits surge as car sales stay in fast lane

- GLEN NORRIS

AUSTRALIAN­S are shaking off the pandemic blues by taking to the roads in new wheels with the nation’s largest auto seller Eagers Automotive reporting a surge in profit.

The company said its profit in the six months to the end of June rose from $29.3m to $158.1m with sales of new cars bouncing back from a slump last year. Revenue rose to $4.7bn from $4.2bn during the period.

Eagers chief executive Keith Thornton said buoyant economic conditions and changes in consumer behaviour had resulted in a 28 per cent increase in the national new car market compared to the first six months of 2020.

Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria recorded sales increases of 33.9 per cent, 29 per cent and 22.3 per cent respective­ly. The company will pay an interim dividend of 20c.

Eagers, which merged with Perth-based AHG Group last year to create the country’s largest automotive group, laid off 1200 workers in March 2020 in response to slumping car sales caused by Covid-19.

Eagers shares fell 2.2 per cent to $16.39 on Thursday.

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