Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) share price stalls on half-year report

The automotive dealer has released its 2021 first half report on Thursday.

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The Eagers Automotive Ltd (ASX: APE) share price is flat this morning after the company released its report for the first half of FY21.

Shares in the automotive dealer have been trading in a wide range as investors digest its report.

Let's take a look at how Eagers performed for the first half of FY21.

Highlights from Eagers' first-half report for FY21

  • Statutory Profit After Tax of $202.3 million, compared to $11.8 million in 1H20
  • Underlying Operating Profit Before Tax of $218.6 million, compared to $40.3 million in 1H20
  • EBITDA from continuing operations increased to $378.0 million, compared to $228.5 million in 1H20
  • $661.1 million cash on hand as at 30 June 2021
  • Statutory Earnings per Share (EPS) of 77.1 cents per share (cps) compared to 3.2 cps in 1H20

Eagers also declared an ordinary dividend to shareholders of 20 cents per share. In addition, the company also approved a special dividend of 8.4 cents per share following the sale of its Daimler Trucks business.

What happened to Eagers in the first-half of FY21?

Eagers cited that strong demand for new and used vehicles continued throughout the first half of FY21. The company noted demand was driven by favourable economic conditions and changes in social trends and consumer behaviour.

In the larger markets of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, Eagers recorded sales increases of 33.9%, 29.1% and 22.3% respectively.

Eagers also noted that the company was able to mitigate the impact of localised COVID-19 government restrictions for the first half.

The company also said cost reductions managed to deliver more than $100 million in annualised savings.

In addition, Eagers also noted strong growth from its pre-owned business easyauto123. In addition, the company highlighted strong growth in its property strategy, with $110 million worth of property acquired during the period.

What did management say?

Commenting on the half-year performance, Eagers Automotive CEO Keith Thornton noted:

Our first half results reflect strong market dynamics, a disciplined approach to managing operations within the current environment and the benefits of our Next100 strategic progress and are further validation of our transformative merger with AHG. A key driver of our strong financial performance has been the deliberate action we have undertaken to simplify our business and reduce our cost base. This has resulted in permanent cost savings that will continue to benefit shareholders in future periods."

What's next for Eagers Automotive?

Eagers painted an optimistic outlook for the company moving into the second half.

The company cited that its strong balance sheet provides flexibility and capacity to invest in organic growth and acquisition opportunities.

Eagers cited a strong devotion to the execution of its Next100 strategy and accelerating the scaling of its easyauto123 business.

In addition, the company plans to advance its property strategy through the acquisition of strategically located sites.

Motley Fool contributor Nikhil Gangaram has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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