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Colonial Motor lifts first-half profit on strong vehicle market, property sale

Friday 19th February 2016

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Colonial Motor Co lifted first-half profit 24 percent as the listed motor vehicle distributor benefited from New Zealand's record new vehicle market and the sale of a Wellington property.

Profit rose to $11.1 million, or 32.3 cents per share, in the six months to Dec. 31, from $9 million, or 25.8 cents, in the year earlier period, the Wellington-based company said in a statement. The latest profit included a $1.1 million gain on the sale of its Capital City Motors site on Taranaki St in Wellington to a developer. Revenue rose 7 percent to $439 million. 

New Zealand vehicle sales soared to a record last year, boosting activity at Colonial Motor Co's dealerships. The company said activity lifted in the three months through December, particularly for new vehicles and tractors. Its Southpac Trucks unit, its largest single subsidiary, had a strong six months, despite a slightly smaller heavy truck market.

"Our dealerships benefited from the strong market, with increased volumes flowing into trading profit after tax," the company said. 

Colonial Motor Co will pay a first-half dividend of 13 cents per share on April 18, unchanged from the year-earlier period.

Its shares gained 0.4 percent to $5.42, and have slid 1.8 percent so far this year.

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