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Bapcor plans to open 8 new BNT autoparts stores in NZ by 2021

Wednesday 22nd August 2018

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Bapcor plans to open eight new BNT stores on this side of the Tasman after the Australian autoparts firm accelerated earnings from the old Hellaby Holdings assets. 

Last December, the autoparts supplier opened the first new BNT store in five years in Gore and it plans another eight in New Zealand by 2021. Victoria-based Bapcor established a toehold in New Zealand when it bought Hellaby in 2016 for $352 million, acquiring a portfolio of assets including the autoparts business, a footwear retail chain, and a resource services firm. It's since sold the footwear and resource services firms. 

The New Zealand autoparts business contributed A$22.7 million to Bapcor's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation on revenue of A$177.9 million, its first full 12-month contribution. On a like-for-like basis, New Zealand earnings grew 33 percent while revenue gained 5.7 percent. 

Group chief executive Darryl Abotomey said the New Zealand unit "performed very strongly" and that the BNT brand's sales growth reflected the "success of the organisation changes, range expansion and market growth." 

Bapcor bought Hellaby primarily for the autoparts businesses at a time when New Zealand's strong currency, expanding population, investment in new roads, and cheap oil prices underpinned record registrations for new vehicles.  

Local demand remains robust with government data today showing the volume of retail sales for motor vehicles and parts in the June quarter were 0.2 percent higher than a year earlier, even as the value of sales shrank 0.9 percent. 

Bapcor's New Zealand business also includes electrical units HCB and JAS Oceania, which it may expand through acquisitions. 

The company sold its New Zealand TRS Tyre and Wheel business to Sweden's Trelleborg Wheel Systems for NZ$20 million last month. 

Group net profit rose 48 percent to A$30.6 million on a 22 percent gain in revenue to A$223.1 million. It forecasts profit to rise by 9-to14 percent in the 2019 financial year. 

The board declared a final dividend of 8.5 Australian cents per share, taking the annual return to 15.5 cents. The ASX-listed shares fell 3.6 percent to A$6.885. 


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