AHG posts hefty half-year performance

Rand and Harris put in bold show with bullish refrigerated outlook while heavy commercial vehicle sales continue to grow

February 18, 2013

Automotive Holdings Group’s (AHG)
first-half revenues soared through the $2 billion mark aided in no small part by its truck sales and refrigerated transport arms.

Revenues rose 13.5 percent to $2.17 billion compared with the first half of the previous financial year, with net profit after tax jumping 25.6 percent to $37.9 million, the Perth-headquartered firm reports.

The performance was shaved somewhat by acquisition- and divestment-related costs.

The logistics division’s performance was solid, with revenues up 15.4 percent to $373 million, and, against a 10 percent contraction of revenues in its parts and industrial supplies distribution arm to $183.2 million, profits before tax there were up 22.5 percent to $8.7 million.

Revenues for Transport and Cold Storage, the Logistics arm that includes Rand Transport and Harris Refrigerated Transport, were up 25.4 percent to $211.5 million, while profits before tax and unusual items grew 11.9 percent to $12.2 million, having been affected by the transfer of Toll Refrigerated.

Despite the gloom in many parts of the cold chain, AHG expects Rand to have more than doubled its pallet capacity
to 133,700 by next year from 66,200 in 2012 on the back of organic growth and the accommodation of former Toll customers.

It has added space for 20,000 more pallets in New South Wales and 15,000 in Queensland for them.

"We’ve seen strong increase in volumes from the Transport and Cold Storage operations driven by organic growth and acquisitions," Managing Director Bronte Howson says.

With his firm’s cold stores utilisation at close to 100 percent, he foresees more growth.

"On the Logistics front, there is continuing strong demand for increased cold storage capacity at Rand and the company is investing in facilities to support that demand," Howson says.

"The proposed expansion will take Rand’s total capacity to more than 130,000 pallets and further strengthen its position in the Australian market.

"We are also confident that the AMCAP, Covs and KTM units will continue to perform strongly."

Heavy commercial vehicle sales, part of the Automotive arm, rose 9.9 percent from 28,261 to 31,050.

AHG revealed its acquisitions so far this financial year cost it 23.4 million, made up of $13.4 million on Brisbane and Newcastle truck yards, $6.2 million on Toll Refrigerated and $3.8 on the Coffee Ford dealership.

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