Motus keeps on motoring

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Motus keeps on motoring

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Published Date: 2021-02-24 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Motus keeps on motoring

The automotive group has scaled its business to adapt to the new economic circumstances.

Motus has reported a rise in first-half earnings despite weak markets for vehicle sales in SA and the UK - and a highly competitive environment in Australia.

Releasing results for the six months to end-December, the automotive group attributed the improvement to a better performance in its retail businesses, particularly the pre-owned vehicle category in SA and both the new and used vehicle categories in its international operations. Its Aftermarket Parts segment also did well over the period. These were partly offset by reduced revenue in the car rental business and lower workshop activity levels.

Motus's SA operations contributed 64% to revenue and 83% to operating profit for the six months, with the remainder coming from the UK, Australia and Southeast Asia. It said industry-wide SA vehicle sales fell 22% over the period when compared to the same six months a year earlier, while the UK recorded a 4.2% decline and Australian sales fell 4.5%.

Revenue rose 6% to R44.3 billion but operating profit declined by 6% to R1.72 billion due to margin pressure across some business segments and reduced car rental income. Earnings per share (EPS) increased by 6% to 507c while headline EPS came in 2% higher at 526c. Free cash flow generated from its operations more than quadrupled to R4.76 billion. It declared a dividend of 160c per share after no interim payout in the prior comparable period.

The company said it had scaled its business activities to adapt to the new economic circumstances and trading for the second half of its financial year had started positively. It also had sufficient cash available and a strong balance sheet to invest in strategic growth initiatives and consider share buy-backs.

Motus's shares rose 0.4% to R71.40 yesterday, taking gains so far this year to 28%.





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