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Turners Auctions' first-half profit jumps 19% on earthquake recovery

Thursday 16th August 2012

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Vehicle auctioneer Turners Auctions' first-half net profit jumped 19 percent as it recovered from earthquake-related disruption in Christchurch last year.

The company is forecasting full-year profit will be up between 2.7 percent and 10.8 percent, or between $3.8 million and $4.1 million compared with last year's $3.7 million net result.

It expects the car market will remain flat, "with uncertain consumer confidence" and imports will continue at their current levels.

Turners' net profit for the six months ended June 30 rose to $1.94 million from $1.63 million in the same six months last year. Sales rose 6 percent to $37.1 million.

"This is a pleasing result, given that the New Zealand used car market remains flat compared to last year and the Japan imported car market is down 7 percent due to the new government (emissions) regulations," said chief executive Graham Roberts.

Overall, Turners sold 1 percent more vehicles in the latest six months. The company said customers have responded well to its "cash now" offer to buy cars, which is helping to replace the downturn in imports. About 20 percent of vehicles are now available for immediate purchase outside of auctions, it said.

Turners Finance loan book grew 4 percent to $20.1 million in the six months while bad and doubtful debts fell 48 percent.

Turners will pay a first-half dividend of 7 cents per share, up from 5 cents last year but the company also paid a 6 cents special dividend last year.

Turners shares rose 3 percent to $1.71, the highest level late 2006 and up from the year low at $1.33 in December.

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