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Turners Auctions’ first-half profit jumps 19% on quake recovery

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

The company is forecasting full-year profit will inrease between 2.7% and 10.8%, or from $3.8 million to $4.1 million, compared to 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% 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% due to the new government [emissions] regulations,” chief executive Graham Roberts says.

Overall, Turners sold 1% more vehicles in the latest six months. The company says customers have responded well to its “cash now” offer to buy cars, which is helping to replace the downturn in imports.

About 20% of vehicles are now available for immediate purchase outside of auctions, it says.

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

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% to $1.71, the highest level late 2006 and up from the year low at $1.33 in December.