Apollo moves global business up a gear as acquisitions drive growth

Apollo moves global business up a gear as acquisitions drive growth

Net profit after tax (NPAT) more than doubled for motorhome operator Apollo Tourism & Leisure (ASX:ATL) in FY18, fuelled by overseas and domestic acquisitions coming into the fold along with increased demand buoyed by higher international visitor numbers across key markets.

NPAT was up 122 per cent to hit $19.2 million for the year, and the company expects the result to be higher still in FY19 in a range of $22-24 million.

Retail sales for new RVs more than tripled (235 per cent) to reach $138.6 million, bolstered by the full year inclusion of Sydney RV and Kratzmann Caravans.

The group has also positioned itself for further growth at home after picking up Fleetwood RV brands in June, along with plans to open new retail sales locations this year in Adelaide, Geelong and Newcastle.

But while Apollo's Australian operations notched 57 per cent EBIT growth for the period, the market now represents just under half of the company's total earnings.

This goes to show just how far Apollo has ventured in its global journey. Australian EBIT in FY18 was higher than the entire group EBIT in FY17, yet the majority of earnings came from overseas.

The jewel in the crown is most certainly North America where Apollo completed the acquisition of CanaDream in July last year. The group has described this as a "significant step" in its journey to become a global RV solution.

"North America represents the largest RV sales and rentals market in the world and the addition of CanaDream to the Apollo Group has provided a tremendous boost to the Company's presence in the region," says Apollo CEO Luke Trouchet.

North American EBIT was $13.7 million for the year, up from a loss of $2.2 million in FY17.

The impact of the acquisition of rental operator and retailer Camperco in UK and Ireland will likely become more apparent this financial year, as a "beachhead" for Apollo's expansion into Europe. The first sign of this will be the opening of a rental branch in Hamburg, Germany in preparation for the peak European summer season.

"Strategic acquisitions, nationally and internationally have positioned the Company to build on the strong performance of FY18 and create global synergies to drive future earnings growth," says Trouchet.

"While we continue to seek opportunities for global expansion, development of our existing infrastructure, people and systems, is a primary focus, to ensure our growth strategy is supported and effectively executed."

The Brisbane-based company also launched the ApolloConnect app in April 2018, providing guests with real-time access to holiday park availability, attractions and instructional content including safety and "how-to" videos.

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